Damaging Comparisons

Sisters Kendra and Connie Evans were much alike, except that Kendra was an “ugly duckling” in comparison with her blonde, blue-eyed, younger sister. The difference had been repeatedly noted even in childhood.

”What a perfectly beautiful child!” strangers had exclaimed over Connie. And through the years, Mrs. Evans never tired of hearing this praise for her younger daughter.

”Connie is a pretty child,” she would reply. ”It’s just too bad that her sister couldn’t have shared her good fortune.” [Read more…]

A Mother-Daughter Battle

“I love Betty very much and she knows it. But why is she so rebellious?” Mrs. Grant asked me.

This mother was a sincere Christian, and her teenage daughter had been a continual object of her prayers. She could not get Betty to study, do a chore right, get along with her brother, or even eat properly. It was a mother-daughter battle, and it terribly distressed Mrs. Grant. [Read more…]

Act Like a Parent!

Isabel Carr complained that her problems began the day she decided to become an obedient wife. “I figured that a Christian woman ought to be subject to her husband,” she said.

And what had ten years of obedience produced? Her husband, Glenn, bowled four nights every week. He paid little attention to the children, even missing their son Dan’s high school graduation because Glenn stayed too long on the golf course. Three months ago, admitting he was growing fond of his secretary, Glenn moved out. He had not contributed a dime to the family since. [Read more…]

The Slow Burn

“How do they expect me to manage this store right when I have such poor help?” Gil Black muttered, as he checked the canned corn and found every price mark only an ink smudge. He ought to tell that stock boy a thing or two! But he wouldn’t chew him out. Gil Black never brought anyone up short. [Read more…]

A Desperate Act

Eric Green lay in a pool of his own blood on the bathroom floor. He watched the red stream spurt from his slashed wrists and trickle along the masonry grooves that separated the little squares of tile. Powerless to stop it, he saw the blood crawl steadily onward and spill into more grooves.

He had started this flow. It was something he had wanted to do—to end his life. But now the horror of his choice overwhelmed him. What a mistake he had made! [Read more…]

Seeking Man’s Approval

Seeking Mans ApprovalThe new high-school music teacher, fresh from college, was fair game for the harassment of his students. Fred Baker, 22, thought things would improve when he took over the music at church and assisted with the young people’s work. But he was wrong.

Embarrassing practical jokes, jibes at his youthfulness, and little grins that came to faces because he was the school’s first male music teacher—all this teasing kept up. Word got back to him some of the students and parents were saying he wouldn’t dare subject his piano-playing hands to a real man’s work. [Read more…]

When Life Brings Surprises

When Life Brings SurprisesKen, at 40, was a happy man. He had worked hard all his life. His dad had never been able to hold a job, and so Ken delivered papers as a boy to help his mother.

Ken quit school in the tenth grade to work as a messenger boy in the office of a big factory. He was determined to do better than his dad and to provide properly for his family. [Read more…]

As to the Lord

As to the LordBart Nolan was a key designer in a large supersonic aircraft company. Some of the best features of these fast, high-flying planes originated in his creative mind. However, Bart’s boss often tinkered with the finished designs. This worried Bart; he was afraid the tinkering might someday show up as an expensive failure.

The boss took credit for a thing if it worked, and if it didn’t, he blamed Bart, who thought it only natural that he had grown to dislike the boss. [Read more…]

When Independence is Bad

When Independence is BadViola Walker was far from an avid angler, but she did go fishing with her husband, Louis, several times after they were married. Then, after three trips to the same trout stream and enduring her husband’s complaints that she scared the fish away, Viola gave up the fishing business.

Viola’s interest was community projects and current events. She became deeply involved in these activities. Then, after one fishing trip, Louis talked about a “genuine fisherwoman” who had been in their crowd, and Viola felt a pang of jealousy. And she was hurt when he said he couldn’t stay home to watch her debate the new expressway route on television because he was meeting his fishing friends, including “Lady Walton.” [Read more…]

Great Expectations

Great ExpectationsTodd Turner was in trouble: for the third time, his wife had threatened to leave him, and this time she meant it. And all over a dog—or so Todd said.

Todd was away from home much of the time and had bought Tracy a dog for company before the birth of their first child. After the baby’s arrival, Todd wanted to get rid of the dog.

“If the dog goes, I go, too,” Tracy warned.

“All right, go ahead,” he told her.

And so they separated. [Read more…]