Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Squeezing the toothpaste

But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of

them, just as he wanted them to be. 1 Corinthians 12:18

Since mine and my hubby’s 24th wedding anniversary is coming up next week, we took advantage of a rainy day to reminisce about the early years of our marriage. For months before we said our I Do’s we had discussed and came to agreement on how we would handle most of the major issues that we would have to deal with in joining our two lives into one. Major issues like who would handle the finances, where we would spend the various holidays, if/when to have children and how their discipline would be handled. Those things were easy to address and work through but after just a few month of living together we realize that the little things we had not anticipated were the things that were causing the most conflict. They are things that now seem so silly and ridicules but back then they caused major strife. I remember us having heated discussions over things like how T-shirts were to be folded, if the toothpaste was to be squeezed from the bottom or if it was okay to just squeeze it in the middle, and of the big one was if he had to always make sure the toilet seat was down. These type disagreements faired up every so often for about a year until we decided that we needed do something to settle this. So we sat at the dinner table and each took turns pointing out things that the other one did that just got on our last nerve and set us off. Through honest discussion and open hearts we were able to come up with some solutions to our problems. For the T-shirt the easiest thing was that we would just each fold our own in which ever manner we chose. Then we decided that we would have to have two tubes of toothpaste. I could squeeze mine from the bottom while Mike could haphazardly squeeze his from the middle. Finally, I had to just resign myself to the fact that I need to check the toilet seat each time. If we had not come together, opening discussed the problems, and realized that we saw and did things differently, I am not sure we would be celebrating 24 years together. Now that is not to say that the next day or even today that I won’t walk into the bathroom and find that the agreements made had been broken. And I have to honestly admit that it still bothers me but because of us talking through it face to face in a calm matter, I know that these slip ups do not mean that he doesn’t love me or does it on purpose to upset me. These are just different ways of doing things. These things are such silly things to allow to tear apart a marriage.

As the body of Christ we, too, are commanded in 1 Cor 12:12-18 to be united. The verse does not say we have to become like robots, all doing the same things in the same way. We have to realize that we are all created to fulfill the plan that God has both for our life personally and the life of us as the church body corporately. Let’s face it there are always those in our family (rather it is our blood relatives or those in our faith family) that will just get on our nerves. They may do things differently. They may say things differently. They may be the ones that are doing the jobs that that are seen. While other may do the “behind the scenes” jobs. However, just because our ways are different does not make either way wrong. No matter where the toothpaste is squeezed from it still get the paste on the brush. It is the end result that makes the difference not always how we get there. As Christians we are all working to reach the world with the gospel. We may be the elderly widow that can’t go on the mission trip but we can donate to the youth when they go. We may not have the gift to sing a solo but we can worship with the one that does. We may not feel called to teach but we can encourage the one who does. Each of us have a role to play just like each part of our physical body have a role to play.

Are you willing to let someone squeeze the middle

of the toothpaste instead of the end ?


  1. Amy, loved your trip down memory lane to the early days of your marriage. I'm so glad I found your blog and discovered you are a fellow She Speaks Graduate.

    I attended high school and college in Alabama and am always looking for a reason to return to my home state. Please let me know if there is ever anything I can do to serve you and the women of your church. (

  2. It would be great if the church could come together in a calm manner and arrive at some peace about the way we handle things!

    Congratulations on 24 years of doing the hard thing--staying married. It's good to know when to be heard, when to be silent. When to stand your ground, when to bow low.

    Blessings and peace, Amy.


  3. Great post, Amy! I have to smile as I think of those little things that sprouted up in my marriage, as well...such as whether we used liquid or powdered detergent to wash our clothes! :)

    I love how you compared this to how we function as the body of Christ. I do need to be sure I keep a loving and Christlike attitude when others "squeeze the toothpaste" in a different way than me. :)


  4. Amy,
    What a sweet post!
    My honey and I just celebrated 35 years :)
    He can squeeze the toothe paste anywhere he wants as long as he brushes his teeth!!