Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

A Father’s Influence

“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” 
Malachi 4:6

Bill Haughton, president of a large construction firm, had hired and managed thousands of employees. He was asked, “When you are thinking of hiring an employee—especially a man—what do you look for?” His answer may surprise you. He said, “I look primarily at the relationship between the man and his father. If he felt loved by his dad and respected his authority, he’s likely to be a good employee.”

Haughton may have been familiar with the biblical story of Eli. A priest of Israel, Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. Eli apparently failed to discipline his children when they were young; the two sons did not respect their father. They rebelled against him and against the Word of God, appropriating the people’s animal sacrifices for their own meals and threatening anyone who resisted them (1 Samuel 2:12–17). When Eli heard about what his sons were doing, he spoke to them, but they ignored his warnings (vv. 23–25). Their actions offended God, eventually bringing on judgment (3:11–13) and death (4:17).

Dad, never underestimate the incredible influence you have on your children. It can make the difference between disaster and lives that are successful and pleasing to Him.

Before you say good night…

  • How did your dad influence the person you’ve become today?
  • What kind of impact do you think you’re having on your kids?
  • Are you the kind of father God wants you to be?

(father) Almighty God, thank You for the privilege of fatherhood. I want so much to lead my children onto right paths for their lives. Despite my sometimes inadequate efforts, let my kids achieve the holy plan You’ve set out for them. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. 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 Host:
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.


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