I prefer my veggies flash-frozen and parboiled. Not so with everyone: I have family members that can’t stand them—particularly carrots. Thankfully, we have an unspoken understanding: they don’t make me forsake carrots altogether, for us to be all together. By the same token, I don’t begrudge them canned, oily bottom-dweller snacks (they just temporarily forfeit my close proximity).
We love each other: by God’s grace, we are learning to rise above each others’ disdain for oily oysters and orange tubers. In fact, our bond is stronger for it (each little hurdle strengthen the quads).
Many times each day we are called upon to constrain our disdain to attend a friend. If we want relationships, and we want them to move beyond the superficial, abiding somebody’s stinky snack is the least of our worries. Every relationship I’ve ever had has endured things a lot smellier than that (this works both ways).
Our ultimate example is Jesus: Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He endured the torturous, forsaken Cross—dying for MY sins. I can certainly show patience for people—including their curious preferences and odd idiosyncrasies; even their big mistakes and, yes, even gross sins.
It’s difficult for us to understand—even after years—why on earth certain people would dare to eat, drink, say, do, or think the way they do. In all of that, our flesh wants to lay it on the line: “My way or the highway.” That’s the stuff divorces are made of. “And anybody who doesn’t see it my way, you can hit the road, too.” —– No. We forbear. 1 Cor. 4:12 when we are reviled, we bless… The Bible calls it humility—and forgiveness.
Whenever I cook carrots, my kids don’t hang out in the kitchen. And when somebody opens a can of kippered snacks, I’m at arm’s length for awhile. But the hiatus is always short in distance and in duration. Oh, and nobody outside of the situation faces these (short-term) consequences: the fish-eaters’ friends are always welcome. …I’ll even share my glazed carrot sauté.