My brother and his girlfriend bought a house. Why did Granny cry?

“Destiny, I’m so glad we’re helping Mrs. Judy with her Bible Class materials.  I love coloring.” Nannygranne cherished this time spent with Destiny.  She’d been coming to church with another 12 year-old girl from the youth group and now they were best friends.  Nannygranne thought she might have questions about what she was experiencing.

“Me, too, Nannygranne.  I love art, anyway,” Destiny responded.  She’d never felt important before and liked that she had new friends.

“So what do you like to do for fun, Destiny? In addition to art, I mean,” Nannygranne said as she selected a different marker for her page.

“I love going to stay with my Granny.  She’s teaching me how to crochet!”  

 “My granny taught me to crochet when I was your age.  I even got to make things for my babies and my grandbabies.  Crocheting is fun.”  

After a moment of silence: “How is your Granny doing?  I’ve never gotten to meet her.”

“She’s OK” was all Destiny said.  She became quiet and her expression clouded.  Thinking of her Granny brought some kind of troubling thought.

After a few more moments of silence, Nannygranne ventured, “Is she in good health?”

“Oh yeah.  She’s fine.”  

The silence returned.

“It seems like thinking of her makes you a little sad.  I noticed you were thinking a lot.”

“Well, I was thinking about the other day.  My brother and his girlfriend took me over to see her.  They just bought a house and it’s really nice!  When I told Granny, she didn’t say anything.  Then I saw her crying in the kitchen.  She didn’t know I saw, but I don’t know what was wrong with what I said.  When I asked her what was wrong, she said she was sad about my brother not being married.  I don’t understand.  They just bought a house.  Why did Granny cry?”  

Destiny’s words spilled out in confusion.  She didn’t know what to do with the emotions surrounding her brother.  “My mom and dad, I could tell, weren’t excited for them, but they didn’t get mad or anything.”  She shrugged her shoulders then, and returned to her work as if she didn’t expect an answer.

Nannygranne said, “Oh I see.  Everybody’s acting differently it sounds like.  Your brother’s excited.  Your parents are confusing, and your Granny seems sad.  Why do you think that is?”

“I don’t know.  My friend said that people usually get married before they buy a house and live together.  But lots of people get married after they buy their house and sometimes already have kids.  I don’t know why Granny’s not happy for them.”

“Well, Destiny, sometimes even I get confused by how other people feel and I’ve learned that different people have all kinds of feelings.  I’ve also learned that I need to find out how God feels about something and that helps me know what the best feeling is for me.”

“How do you tell how God feels about my brother and his girlfriend buying a house?”  Destiny was deeply confused.  It seemed so simple to her.

“Well, you did say your Granny was sad because your brother wasn’t married.  Maybe we could see what God thinks about that: people living together even though they are not married?  Does that make sense to you?”

“Ok.  That is what Granny said.”

“As I said, there are all kinds of people in our world and all sorts of ideas.  The ideas that matter to God are the ones about how we should live and treat each other.”

“Oh yeah!  In Bible class we learned about the Golden Rule.  We’re supposed to treat other people the way we’d want them to treat us.”  Destiny grinned, glad to be able to contribute to the conversation.

“That’s right.  But even the Golden Rule is about doing things God’s way. You see, marriage was one of God’s greatest ideas.  Marriage helps us understand Him better.  Humans are the only ones God made like Him.  He didn’t make any of the animals to be like Him.  He made you and me–all of us–in His image. 1

“But God made us different, too.  He made a man and a woman.  He didn’t make a third kind; He only made two and made them different.  Both of them are just as important and needed.  Each one is as much like Him as the other one.  God is One but is three persons:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  In marriage we are One, but two people.”

“So we’re more important than the animals to God?”  Childlike, Destiny had cued on the word ‘animal.’

“The animals are important to God for other reasons.  God made us with the ability to take care of the animals because they can’t take care of us.  Caring for God’s creation is part of being made like God.”

“Oh!  Were Adam and Eve married?”  Circling around to the subject at hand, she seemed to know more.

“God gave them to  each other and told them they were to become one, so yes, they were married.2 So that’s how they were married before they lived and slept together.  That’s God’s way for a man and a woman.”

“Oh!  I wasn’t thinking about THAT.”  Destiny wasn’t sure whether to be embarrassed.  She didn’t know Nannygranne knew about THAT.

“Well, God made THAT, too!” Nannygranne laughed. “A second reason God made marriage is that He wanted more humans to be born and be like Him, too.  Honey, sex was God’s idea in the first place.  But so many people don’t know God made them to be like Him.  They’ve been told they’re just smarter animals so rather than having God’s kind of sex, they just do what the animals do, and they miss out on the very best God made for their marriage.”

“But I thought that’s what people do when they fall in love.”

Nannygranne understood how she’d be limited to that viewpoint.  It reflected what she saw and heard in the media and from those around her.  “There is one part of that which is so right.  God made sex because He loves His people, and wants them to enjoy what He made for them.3 But God’s way of sex is so special that He made a special time and place for it. He made it just for husbands and wives.

 Just remember that a love you ‘fall’ into, you can ‘fall’ out of as well.  God’s love stays, no matter what. God’s love is not only a feeling, it’s a decision.  I think your Granny may have cried because she knows your brother is missing out on God’s best for him and she loves him so much.”

Destiny’s eyes searched Nannygranne’s expression, trying to understand this new emotion of sad acceptance and hope intermingled.  “But Nannygranne, why don’t people want what’s best?”

Nannygranne took Destiny’s hands into her own and looked into her eyes, “Destiny, there are two things people have forgotten and some never knew.  People don’t know that they aren’t just animals.  They have some of God in them.  Also, people don’t understand God’s reasons for marriage and sex.  Some don’t understand that God really loves them and wants them so very much.4That’s one of the reasons we listen and read and learn as much as we can because God wants us to live well, and He’ll help us understand what that means.”5

Destiny frowned.  “He wants us to live well?  What does that mean?”

Nannygranne smiled. “God teaches us how to make the world a better place.6  Also God teaches us how to really enjoy the earth and its beauty.7  And most important, God teaches us to love and understand one another, and how to have peaceful thoughts no matter what’s going on.8  When we give ourselves to Christ, we become Christians and God changes us to be more and more like Him.9  Then when He returns to take us Home, it’ll really feel like Home and not something unfamiliar.” 10

“Wow, Nannygranne! That’s really cool.”  Destiny smiled, but suddenly her smile faded.  “What about Granny?  What about my brother?”

“Well, if I were your Granny, I would be so excited to find out that you’d learned God’s way of living well, and marrying God’s way.  Maybe you could tell her what you’ve learned.”

“But my brother?”  Destiny’s love for her brother wouldn’t let her forget his situation.

“Well, let’s ask God, right now, to give you wisdom.  He says if we ask Him, He’ll give it to us, no questions asked.  Then wait and learn and you’ll know what to do.”11

Nannygranne took Destiny’s hands again, and bowing with her, thanked God for His ways to live well and for the love He made for us.  They prayed that Destiny’s brother would learn of those ways and that Destiny would always remember God’s ways of love.  Nannygranne also prayed that one day, if it was God’s will, that she would find a man who knew His ways, too, so she could always live well with God in life as well as in eternity.

“Thank you Nannygranne.  I’ve got to go home now.  It’s almost suppertime.”  Destiny smiled and gave her friend a hug, then hurried out the door with a wave.

Nannygranne began gathering up the teaching materials.  Suddenly she noticed the page Destiny had finished so beautifully.  It was a picture of Adam and Eve.


Genesis 1-2

2 Gen 1:27-28

Song of Solomon 4:15-5:1  Poetic description of a Wedding night.  “Eat friends, and drink!  Drink freely, O lovers.” some take to be God’s voice.

4 John 3:16; 

5 John 10:10; Rom 5:6-11

 Eph 4:31-32

Psalm 8

 John 14:27; John 16:33

9 I Thess 5:23-24; Gal. 2:20; Rom 6:1-4

10  Rev 21:1-8 – Also consider C.S. Lewis’s book the Great Divorce for more insight into this perspective

11  James 1:5


I am a mother, grandmother, nanny, and writer—with a passionate concern about children, all children. With the help of my son Travis (who has a graduate degree in apologetics) I hope to share some thoughts that will be helpful to all who have the same concern.

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