Beware of Offending a “Little One”

“It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:2).

Anna Rose loved children! She had a foster home, and would take in the children nobody else wanted. She tells in her book, Gentle House, about one little misplaced boy from Latvia, who, during the Second World War, was taken to America, and passed from one foster home to another. Nobody could deal with him. The fact that he could hardly speak a word of English made the situation even more difficult. Finally they asked Anna Rose if she would take him. She said, “Yes!” She relates the story in her book:

”And so it was settled and [he] was allowed to come with me. As we drove home in the May sunshine, I said to him, ‘You know, my house isn’t big and grand like the one you were staying in before.’ To this he replied, ‘No worry. Big house, no matter. I want a gentle house.’ I wondered exactly what he meant by a ‘gentle house,’ but he did not yet have the words to make me understand.”

Later, when he was going off with the scouts to camp for the first time, she watched him…”and as he stepped out on the porch, he paused, put out his hand and stroked the porch railing. Then he spoke – almost in blank verse: ‘Good-bye, house – my dear, dear house. You are my home. Try to be here when I get back. You are a gentle house.’ ‘What is a gentle house?’ I asked him. He was indignant: ‘How is this, you do not understand? A gentle house is a place where you feel so safe.’

One of your children’s greatest fears is that their mom and dad will divorce. Since one out of every two marriages is ending in the divorce courts, chances are that some of your children’s friends at school come from split homes. They’ve watched them try to deal with the emotional struggle that affects all children in a divorce situation. They’ve seen the hurt and the sense of rejection, and they secretly wonder when the same thing might happen to them.

As much as divorced parents try to avoid offending and damaging their children, it is unavoidable. And the hurts and scars will often be carried by them for the rest of their lives.

Not only do we need to provide our children with the security of our love and acceptance of them; children also need the security of knowing that mom and dad love each other and that there is no hint or possibility of divorce.

Today would be a good time to reaffirm your marriage commitment to your spouse. Then, assure your children of your commitment as a couple and give them the security of knowing that divorce will never be a consideration for your marriage.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries