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Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

The Dignified Mr. Walker

[A father] must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.
1 Timothy 3:4

As a child, I (JCD) once spent the night with a mischievous friend who had an amazing ability to outmaneuver his parents. As we were settling down into our twin beds, Earl asked if I wanted to hear his father swear. Being a curious tyke, I naturally said yes. So at Earl’s direction we continued to laugh and talk for over an hour, with Mr. Walker repeatedly telling us to be quiet in increasingly hostile tones. “It won’t be long now,” Earl told me. Finally, Mr. Walker’s patience expired. He thundered down the hall, threw open the bedroom door, and leaped upon Earl’s bed, flailing at the boy who was safely buried beneath layers of blankets. Then Mr. Walker uttered a stream of words that had seldom reached my tender ears. I was shocked, but Earl was delighted. He yelled to me over the verbal and physical onslaught, “Didja hear ’em? Huh? Didn’t I tell ya? I toldja he would say ’em!”

Children can frustrate us to the core of our being. Some of them are motivated by nothing more than the sheer love of conflict and are overjoyed when they drive us to exasperation. When that happens, we have failed to manage our families well (1 Timothy 3:4). But don’t lose hope—parenthood doesn’t have to be this way! We’ll offer an alternative tomorrow night.

Before you say good night…

  • Do your kids manipulate you? How?
  • What can you do to change this?
  • How can you better support each other in managing your children?

Heavenly Father, so often we fail to manage our family well. We recommit ourselves tonight to searching deeper into Your holy Word for wisdom in disciplining our children, and we thank You for eternal truths we can count on. 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 Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.

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About Family Talk

Family Talk is a Christian non-profit organization located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Founded in 2010 by Dr. James Dobson, the ministry promotes and teaches biblical principles that support marriage, family, and child-development. Since its inception, Family Talk has served millions of families with broadcasts, monthly newsletters, feature articles, videos, blogs, books and other resources available on demand via its website, mobile apps, and social media platforms.

About Dr. James Dobson

Dr. James Dobson is the Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, "Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk." He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family, including The New Dare to Discipline, Love for a Lifetime, Life on the Edge, Love Must Be Tough, The New Strong-Willed Child, When God Doesn't Make Sense, Bringing Up Boys, Marriage Under Fire, Bringing Up Girls, Head Over Heels and, most recently, Your Legacy: The Greatest Gift.

Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised five U.S. presidents on family matters. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He holds 17 honorary doctoral degrees, and was inducted in 2008 into The National Radio Hall of Fame. Dr. Dobson recently received the following awards: Winston Churchill Lifetime Achievement Award from the Faith & Freedom Coalition (2017), Daniel Award from AZ Christian University (2016), and the Defender of Life Award from the Justice Foundation (2015).

Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren. The Dobsons reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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