“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” 1 Peter 2:9
I see a little girl skipping home from school in the late afternoon sun. Her dress is a hand‐me‐down intended for someone two sizes larger. Her shoes are unpolished, and her socks no longer have elastic around the top. She crosses a barren yard to reach her destination—a small house badly in need of paint and repair.
The walls inside the home are patched with brown butcher paper and paint to conceal where the little girl’s father punched holes with his fist. The father frequently stumbles home in the middle of the night, smelling of alcohol, then wakes the little girl with shouts and threats against her mother. Sometimes the little girl hides from her father.
One day the little girl is driven home from a friend’s birthday party. She asks to be let out in front of a clean house with a well‐manicured lawn. She marches up the driveway and waves good‐bye to her friends— but as soon as the car rounds the corner, she turns and walks several blocks to her real home. She’s learned to hide her disgrace from others; on the inside, however, she feels ashamed, depressed, and worthless.
God, however, blesses the little girl. Her mother’s wisdom and love sustain her. The mother insists that she attend church, where the little girl learns about Jesus and invites Him into her heart and life. When the little girl grows up and goes to college, she falls in love with a man who promises to do his best to make her happy and build her up under God’s direction. And he does.
This story is deeply familiar to me because I was that little girl. Children who grow up in homes where they are loved and appreciated, where discipline and accountability are properly balanced with democracy and openness, develop a healthy sense of self‐worth that usually carries into adulthood. But those of us who didn’t experience this kind of childhood may need an extra dose of understanding from our marital partner. No matter what your spouse’s background is, I pray you’ll provide that support for the little boy or girl you’re married to.
- Shirley M Dobson