Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Word Pictures

“Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.’”   >Matthew 22:1–2

Another extremely useful communication technique is the word picture, described by Gary Smalley and John Trent in their book The Language of Love. In one of their examples, a high school teacher and football coach named Jim came home each evening too tired to even talk to his wife, Susan, leaving her frustrated and angry. Finally, Susan told Jim a story about a man who went to breakfast with his fellow coaches. The man ate his favorite omelet, then gathered up some crumbs and put them in a bag. Then he went to lunch with more friends and ate a turkey tenderloin pie and a huge salad. Again, he put a few crumbs in a doggie bag to take with him. When he came home that night, he handed his wife and their two boys the little bags of leftovers.

“That’s the way I feel when you come home with nothing left to give,” Susan said. “All we get are leftovers. I’m waiting to enjoy a meal with you, hoping for time to talk and laugh and get to know you, longing to communicate with you the way you do every day with the guys. But all we get are doggie bags. Honey, don’t you see? We don’t need leftovers. We need you.”

Susan’s word picture brought tears to Jim’s eyes and led to positive changes in their marriage. You, too, may find that a graphic word picture is more effective at getting your mate’s attention than a torrent of hostile words.

Just between us . . .

• Why are word pictures often effective?
• Jesus often used word pictures to make a point (e.g., “I am the Good Shepherd”). What word picture describes your feelings about us?

Lord, teach us to share our inner selves with our spouse. Remind us of the great value of this intimate exchange between married lovers. Amen.

• Word picture illustration from The Language of Love by Gary Smalley and John Trent (Pomona, Calif.: Focus on the Family Publishing, 1988).

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

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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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