Nightlight For Couples

Fickle Values

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

I f I (jcd) were to draw a caricature of an adult experiencing a lifelong crisis of confidence, I would depict a bowed, weary traveler. Over his shoulder, I would place the end of a mile‐long chain attached to tons of garbage. Inscribed on each piece of junk would be the details of some humiliation—a failure, a rejection, an embarrassment from the past. The traveler could let go of the chain, but he is convinced that he must drag that heavy load throughout life.

If this describes your own self‐concept, realize that you can free yourself from the weight of your chain. You have judged yourself inferior based on shifting standards. In the 1920s, women asked plastic surgeons to reduce their breast size—now many women undergo surgery to do just the opposite. In King Solomon’s biblical love song, the bride asked her groom to overlook her dark, well‐tanned skin—but in our country today, she’d be the pride of the beach. Rembrandt painted overweight ladies, but now, “thin is in.”

To be content with who we are as God’s creations, we must base our self‐image on His values, not on the fickle notions of human worth.

Just between us…

  • Do you ever feel like the weary traveler described above?
  • Do you sometimes feel that even God couldn’t love you?
  • What feelings of inferiority or inadequacy do you carry around? What would God say about your “junk”?
  • Do I help to elevate your opinion of yourself, or am I part of the problem?

Lord, open our eyes to the half-truths and lies about ourselves that keep us in chains. We are made in Your image. May we affirm that beautiful truth in each other daily. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Night Light For Parents

Hearts of Compassion

Clothe yourselves with compassion. Colossians 3:12

It was a cold December in Philadelphia. Eleven-year-old Trevor Ferrell was watching TV in his comfortable home when images of street people flashed on the screen. Trevor’s heart was touched—he had to do something. He grabbed a blanket and pillow from his closet and begged his parents to take him downtown. They resisted at first—it could be dangerous, after all—but eventually relented. Soon, Trevor was handing the blanket and pillow to a grateful homeless man.

That night marked the first of many visits by the Ferrell family to Philadelphia’s street people. Trevor’s friends started joining him, others began donating items to hand out, and a ministry was born. Trevor’s Campaign for the Homeless attracted national interest and inspired chapters across the country. An abandoned Philadelphia hotel was turned into Trevor’s Place, a home for street people, and an adjacent building was transformed into Trevor’s Next Door, a residential living and service center.

Hundreds of people found help and hope because a fifth-grader remembered the words of Jesus: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). Christ had incredible compassion for the down-and-outers of the world, touching even lepers who were likely shunned by others (Luke 5:12–13). When you encourage your children to help those in need, you move them that much closer to the compassionate heart of Christ.

Before you say good night…

How are you encouraging your kids to show compassion to others?

What could you do this week for the “least of these” in your town?

Lord Jesus, may we all have ears to hear the cries for help around us. Show us how to respond as You would, bringing Your compassion to our family and to our world. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Illustration adapted from Focus on the Family radio broadcast, 20 January 1986.

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