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Squeezing Toothpaste

Do either you or your spouse squeeze your toothpaste tube in the middle? How do you respond to a person who does? Or with one who is irritated by it? Laura and I have two jars of peanut butter in the cupboard. One is for the person who digs holes in the pot and the other is for me who likes the sides scraped clean and the surface left smooth! I could wax eloquent with a few more foibles that our relationship has to contend with. Suffice it to say, our marriage has struggled for many years. J

Scriptures have a great deal to say in describing the reactions of people in many types of relationships. Wrongly squeezed toothpaste, or holes in the peanut butter, do not have a direct reference, but the profiles of people who contend with contentious themes is found everywhere. Conflict management doesn’t come with easy solutions where ‘one size fits all’. I use Paul’s instructions to the Romans (chap 12) in my efforts to help folks understand their profiles and to relate more happily to irritations.

Here are the normal profile responses to wrongly squeezed toothpaste:

  • Prophet (Guardian of Truth) would very seriously draw attention to the fact that The Word describes principles that need to be followed even in little matters like properly utilizing our toothpaste resources. Everything must be done decently and in order. And if you don’t submit to that injunction you will be disobedient and vengeance will be wrecked on you.
    Motivation: to correct the problem
  • Server will not say anything but will quietly repair the offending tube (and may even volunteer to squeeze it out for you).
    Motivation: to fulfill a need
  • Teacher (Researcher) will be tolerant for a while but will open a discussion, after they’ve researched the various options and theories of why people act in such a manner, and will explain in great detail why the habit should be discontinued.
    Motivation: to discover why it happened
  • Exhorter (Encourager) will helpfully outline in a few easy steps how such a horrible practice can be broken or avoided.
    Motivation: to avoid the problem in the future
  • Giver (Networker) would discuss good conservation habits that need to be developed in order to wisely use the resources we have and how we need to pass on good training and habits to our children.
    Motivation: to provide for a tangible need
  • Ruler (Organizer) will delegate to the housekeeper the task of fixing the tube. In lieu of a housekeeper will roster it into the daily chores of the children.
    Motivation: to achieve the immediate goal
  • Mercy (Compassion) would change their own habits so that you would not feel alone in the way you squeeze the tube.
    Motivation: to relieve embarrassment

When you are struggling with an irritable person, consider which of the above motivations would be most helpful to them.

May you be blessed with recipients who hear and rejoice over the many things that your Father has done and is doing for you. … john

Esther 9:20


(original post Oct 5 2014)


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