Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Fatherly Love

Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter.
Esther 2:7

This week we’ve addressed the awesome privileges and responsibilities of fathers. I’d like to speak tonight to a group of dads who are especially close to my heart: stepfathers.

My own father was an alcoholic. As a child I often hid when he arrived at our run-down home in the early morning hours, drunk and shouting threats. I remember finally praying to God in desperation: If Dad isn’t going to change, then please get us out of this house and give us the kind of father that will love and provide for us.

After much suffering related to my father’s continued drunkenness and an illicit relationship, my parents divorced when I was in sixth grade. My mother, brother, and I moved to a tiny house where at last we could sleep through the night in peace. A year later, my mother married a man who had been a confirmed bachelor. My new stepfather was a faithful husband and good provider. Though he wasn’t a Christian at the time, both he and my mother later committed their lives to Jesus.

I am so thankful that the Lord answered my prayer and delivered this wonderful man to our family. Joe Kubishta brought high moral standards, warmth, and much-needed stability into our lives. My mother, my brother, and I fell for his sunny disposition and big smile. Even though I wasn’t his “real” daughter, he showed me the fatherly respect and kindness I had longed for.

If you are a stepfather, I encourage you to display the same caring and sensitivity toward your stepchildren. They may not accept you as openly as I did Joe; they may even want nothing to do with you. Underneath such outward appearances, however, are vulnerable girls and boys yearning for a man who will demonstrate genuine fatherly love.

No matter what your family situation, I implore you to be the kind of father that our heavenly Father calls you to be. Your commitment will be the answer to a little child’s prayers.
-Shirley M. Dobson 

Listen to today's broadcast of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk at  For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at

This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.

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About Family Talk

Packed with the same wisdom Dr. Dobson has provided audiences for more than 30 years, Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk is designed to help families and influence the culture — all flowing out of a heart for spiritual transformation thru trust in Christ for every life. It's the voice you trust...for the family you love!

About Dr. James Dobson

About the Hosts:
Dr. James Dobson:

James Dobson is the host of Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk. He is also the founder of Focus on the Family, where he served for more than 30 years.

A licensed psychologist and marriage, family, and child counselor, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California for 14 years. He invested 17 years on the attending staff of Children's Hospital Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics.

Earning a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, he's authored more than 30 books, including his most recent bestseller, Bringing Up Girls. Dr. Dobson has also been heavily involved in governmental activities related to the family. He was elected in 2008 to the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley, the father of two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and the grandfather of Lincoln and Luci.


Dr. Meg Meeker:
Dr. Meg is a pediatrician, who has practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine for 25 years. She is the author of six books including the best-selling Strong Fathers/Strong Daughters: Ten Secrets Every Father Should Know, and its companions Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: The 30 Day Challenge and Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, 8 part DVD Small Group Study and WorkbookBoys Should Be BoysYour Kids At Risk, and The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose and Sanity. She is a popular speaker on pediatric health issues and child-parent relationships. Dr. Meeker has the heart of a mother and the wisdom of a pediatrician. 
Meg is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and currently teaches medical students and physicians in residency training. She has been married to her husband, Walter for 31 years. They have shared a medical practice for 20 years. They have three daughters ages 29, 27 and 25 and a son who is 21. She lives in northern Michigan.


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