Bad Breath: A Simple Gift Simply Returned


mouthwash“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  (Colossians 3:13)

There is no Scripture verse that reads, “Fret not thyself because of morning breath; thy husband knoweth and doth also have it.” Too bad.

For at least a month after our wedding, in the thrills of a brand new marriage, I would rouse in the wee hours to sneak into the bathroom, brush my teeth, then slip back into bed for a bit more sleep.  After a few weeks, though, I ceased to wake up and the secret was out.  My handsome husband learned a hard truth: I was not perfectly pretty all the time; I had flaws, many much worse than bad breath.

Of course he knew this, and neither minded nor nagged, even in response to my more regrettable traits.  What a gift to me, and so simply returned: choosing to overlook annoyances and celebrate gifts for the good of the relationship.  Everyone benefits, certainly the cherished wife, but also the appreciated husband, and any treasured children.

I am insanely forgetful: from keys (irritating) to jewelry (hurtful) to bills (serious).  This must exasperate my former Marine husband with his perfectly ordered mind and his perfectly ordered possessions (until I get hold of them), but he has never lost his temper with me; in fact, he often comforts me while I weep over some lost article or forgotten appointment.

So I think twice about re-opening the door to holler Stop slamming the door!  ~ which he does every. blessed. time.  Maybe he knows how sacrificial and wonderful I’m being; maybe he’s blissfully unaware.  I imagine that for every time I know he overlooks rather than nags, there are other occasions that I don’t know about (or forgot).  I will not nag over faults.  It’s a win-win situation as I bless the person I love most and become a kinder person myself.

Gracious God, may I remember each day to smile at my husband’s talents and bear with his troubles, as he does with mine, and as You do with us all.  Grant this, I ask, through Christ the Lord.  Amen.




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  • noelfitz

    I am afraid that the contributions I make often seem (to me) to be negatives, so I am delighted to be able to commend this beautiful article highly.

    It is positive, supportive and encouraging.