My wife and I have had the privilege of mentoring a good number of couples preparing for marriage. One of the most prevalent issues that tend to be divisive or cause conflict within a marriage is toothpaste. You go it! Everything from how to squeeze the tube, to what flavour. No question, toothpaste tends to be quite an abrasive issue in all kinds of relationships.
And it makes sense. There are lots of reasons to fight over toothpaste. Did you know there are over 1407 different flavours of toothpaste out there? Even exotic flavours like wine, bourbon, scotch, whiskey, and even champagne. I wonder how many couples have fought over which flavour is the best, which texture, or which feel is best.
When I think about all the different types of toothpaste, I think about all the different Christian denominations there are in the world. And all the ways people fight over which “flavour” is the best. Did you know that there are approximately 38,000 Christian denominations in the world? Crazy! Like toothpaste, lots of reasons to fight and debate and compare which is best.
This is quite humbling for me to consider. If there are these many Christian denominations out there, who are we to think that we have it totally right? That out of 38,000, we heard God right in every way? I think this helps me become more teachable, more humble and hopefully approachable concerning these things. Who are we that we can’t look at someone else and honestly appreciate what makes them unique in the kingdom of God?
The fact is that the people that need tartar control use tartar control. The people that have sensitivity issues use sensidine type toothpaste. The people that like peppermint or spearmint will be attracted to that particular flavour. And that’s OK. The main thing that needs to be there is that the toothpaste contains fluoride – which in my mind is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As long as the toothpaste contain that all-important “ingredient”, I think we can relax. Trust God, and celebrate one another’s differences with the body of Christ.
“Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.”
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