Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

What Did You Say?

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning.”  >Proverbs 1:5

Men may use less speech than women, but both sexes have been accused of not using their sense of hearing. “You never told me that” is a common household refrain. I (JCD) am reminded of the night my father was preaching at an open tent service. During his sermon, an alley cat decided to take a nap on the platform. My father, who was 6'4", took a step backward and planted his heel squarely on the poor creature’s tail. The cat went crazy, scratching and clawing to free himself. But Dad, intent on his message, didn’t notice. He later said he thought the screech came from the brakes of automobiles at a nearby stop sign. When my father finally moved his foot, the cat took off like a Saturn rocket.

This story illustrates the communication problem many couples face.

For example, a wife “screams” for attention and intimacy but feels that he doesn’t even notice. It’s not that he can’t hear her; it’s that he’s thinking about something else or is completely misinterpreting her signals. This situation can easily be improved by simply “tuning in” to the station on which your mate is broadcasting. The truth is that careful listening feels so much like love that most of us can hardly tell the difference.

Just between us . . .

• When we tell each other something that doesn’t get through, who is to blame—the “sender,” the “receiver,” or both?
• What have you wanted to say, but didn’t because you couldn’t get my attention?
• How could learning to listen better to each other help us listen better to God?

Dear God, teach us the wisdom and grace of listening. Help us to pay attention to each word as though we were listening to You. Amen.

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 Couples. 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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