Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

EARLY TRAINING

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Proverbs 22:6

When you construct a plan for introducing your children to Jesus, you may want to make your motto “the earlier the better.” In a recent nationwide poll, researcher George Barna learned that children ages five through thirteen have a 32 percent probability of accepting Christ as their Savior. That rate drops dramatically, to just 4 percent, for kids ages fourteen through eighteen. And those who have not become Christians before age nineteen have only a 6 percent probability of doing so during the rest of their lives!

Spiritual training of children should begin at their earliest moments of awareness and continue through the teen years. The most important year, however, may be age five. That is when they are open and tender to the call of Christ. Some kids come to a fork in the road at this point. Either they begin to internalize what they are taught and make it their own, or Bible stories and lessons become like fables that don’t apply to the real world. Your careful instruction during this period can lay the faith foundation that will guide your children throughout their earthly lives—and lead them into a joyous eternity.

Before you say good night…

  • Where do your kids stand right now regarding faith in Jesus Christ?
  • Does the level of spiritual training you’re providing match the ages of your kids?
  • How does the spiritual training you received as a child influence your faith today?

Dear Jesus, You are the master teacher. Help us to follow Your example as we train our children—to say the right words at a time when their ears will hear so that they will become devoted followers of You. Amen.

• Statistics from “Teens and Adults Have Little Chance of Accepting Christ As Their Savior,” Barna Research Online, 15 November 1999, as quoted in Bringing Up Boys copyright © 2001 by James Dobson, Inc. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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

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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