For I would not have known what it is to covet if the [the Ten Commandments] had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead … but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.

Romans 7:7-9

If you find your head spinning as you read this, I can simplify it for you. Meet Betty Lou, Miriam’s first baby doll.


Miriam’s Great-Grandma Betty gave her this doll when they met. Miriam goes everywhere with Betty Lou. And while almost every toy needs to be shared with her sister, Betty Lou is the one toy that Annette never gets to play with. Annette has her own special doll, but Betty Lou is Miriam’s.

At 15 months old, the word Annette says with the most clarity and frequency is, “Betty Lou.” 

We have a house full of toys and dolls that she can play with. She knows none of their names. But when, out of the corner of her eye, she spots the forbidden doll strewn across a chair, she rises to her knees and announces, “Betty Lou! Betty Lou!”

I am convinced that if I had never said, “No, that’s Miriam’s baby doll,” Annette would hardly notice the doll. And she certainly wouldn’t know her name.

So the rule, which was intended to bring Annette life, has given her little heart an opportunity to covet. She is now obsessed with the one toy she can’t play with.

And at 15 months old she needs rescued.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 7:24, 25

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One Response to How Miriam’s Baby Doll Helped Me Understand the Bible

  1. Christina says:

    So true! I see it in my kids all the time, and in me:) So thankful for Christ!

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