Contrast Creates

Strawberry shortcake has long been my favorite dessert. I enjoy it to the point of public embarrassment. With every fork-full I find myself fighting the urge to close my eyes and groan with pleasure. It’s magically delicious. One day I happened to be particularly enthralled with my delectable delight and pondered the magic potion: a simple biscuit with strawberries. It seemed to be a bit basic. One was warm, plain, and dry; the other was cold, sweet, and juicy. Each ingredient was forgettable when eaten alone, yet complimentary and life-changing when combined. It was then that I realized: the magic is in the contrast.

Contrast creates beauty. Stars are most brilliant in the dark of night. Warmth is best appreciated in the dead of winter. Peace is most cherished in the terrors of  war. So how would this translate into our relationships?

The majority of my brief courting career was spent seeking a mate that I best aligned with; one that shared my interests and bolstered my viewpoints; one with which I could converse most comfortably. A few were found (one at a time) and taken to the experimental stage known as dating. The labs varied from restaurants to movie theaters, but all ushered the same conclusion: that “more of me” is nauseating. The relationships would form and soon become a bore. Each girl I’d entertained was simply a long-haired version of Matt.

Missy was gorgeous—a contrast from the start. Sure we shared some interests, but our background stories were a world apart. Our experiences were vastly different and excitingly intriguing. Our opinions were humorously disagreeable. Our conversations caused me to think—a welcomed change of pace. Finally, some variables in my experiments. There was magic and it was created by contrast.

Missy wasn’t a cardboard cutout that would agree with everything I said, thought, or felt. She wasn’t a relational mirror that reflected all that I stood for. She was her own person. And it was intoxicating. In your pursuit of finding a beautiful relationship, embrace differences rather than eluding them; relish them rather than retreating from them. Contrast creates beauty.


Matt Ouellette finds it extremely awkward to write in the third person, but understands the professional nature it can portray. As the youth pastor of Faith EFC in Waterville, Maine, he holds a Bachelors Degree from Boston Baptist College in Biblical Studies with a minor in Education. His witty and contemplative writings (compared to that of Donald Miller) won him a grand prize publishing contract for his soon to be released book, Thoughts That Fell From A Taco Shell (Carmichael Publishing, January 3, 2013). Matt absolutely adores his wife and two daughters and thoroughly enjoys their adventures together. He has found himself to be severely lacking in nearly every area of life and clings to grace with all that he has. Online you can find Matt tweeting on Twitter or writing at his website.

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