Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

I Deserve It!

“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.”  >Galatians 5:17

That sinful nature we talked about yesterday often rears its head in the form of the thought I deserve more. It leads us to demand the best deal, the lion’s share, the most credit, and the finest of everything. From earliest childhood, as we have seen, our impulse is to focus on ourselves and to disregard the needs of others.

And, yes, this “I‐deserve‐it” attitude can permeate marriages. Resentment can build over who works the hardest, who spends more than his or her share of the money, and who is not doing enough to serve the other. Anger then erupts over insignificant irritants that bubble up from the cauldron of emotions. Many fights in marriage begin with the belief that we’re being cheated in the relationship.

Beware of this trap. The minute we begin thinking that we are en‐titled to more, we’ve started down the slippery road to selfishness. It can devastate a relationship.

John Ferrier didn’t deserve to die in an Ohio neighborhood—but when crisis came, he chose to sacrifice for others. Jesus didn’t deserve to be nailed to a wooden cross—but out of love for the Father and for us, He allowed Himself to be crucified. This kind of sacrificial love seeks to serve, not “deserve”—and that changes everything!

Just between us . . .

  • What do you feel we truly deserve in this life?
  • Do you sometimes feel that you’re not getting what you deserve in our marriage?
  • Is selfishness a problem for us?

Dear Lord, we need Your Spirit at work in us to overcome our self-centered impulses. By Your grace, empower us to serve instead of to “deserve.” Amen.

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 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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