Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Legacy of a Good Man

A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.
Proverbs 13:22

Dr. Willis B. Dobson was a good man. He was also my (JCD’s) uncle. He earned his Ph.D. in Shakespearean English at the University ofTexas and taught for more than forty years at a small Christian college. He worked for peanuts compared to what he could have earned at a state university, but he had other priori-ties than acquiring wealth. When his beloved wife succumbed to cancer, Uncle Willis rededicated his life to the service of others. At age seventy he began a taxi service for what he called “old people.” He set up a refreshment stand in front of his house for the trash collectors. One frigid night in December, Uncle Willis and his son, Bill, walked past a drunken man sitting on a curb. My uncle suddenly stopped, went back, and placed his overcoat around the man’s shoulders. “Why did you do that?” asked Bill. “That coat is brand-new.”

“Because,” Uncle Willis replied, “I have two coats and that man has none.”

Willis B. Dobson was simply following the command of his God (see Luke 3:11 . He never received great acclaim for his selfless commitment to others, but he was remembered with deep affection by his family and was a role model for me. I hope I can leave that kind of legacy to my family.

Before you say good night…

  • Are you modeling an attitude of service to your kids?
  • What were your most selfless acts in the last week? In the last year?
  • How can you do more for others?

Dear Father, the months and years speed by so quickly. Help us to live purposefully, remembering that our legacy to our children has little to do with money—and everything to do with how we heed and obey Your Spirit. 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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