Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Countering Cruelty

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13

Psychologist Clyde Narramore once told about a second-grade teacher who wanted to demonstrate the relative meaning of the words large and small to her class. She selected a girl and boy and had them come to the front of the room. The teacher then put her hand on the girl’s head and said, “Large, large, Sharon is large.” Sharon, now self-conscious, was indeed the tallest girl in the class and was sensitive about it. Then the teacher said, “Small, small, David is small.” Poor David was humiliated. The last thing any boy wants is to be known as the smallest and most powerless child in his class. The teacher was oblivious to the pain she was causing Sharon and David.

As your children grow, any deviation from the norm—in height, weight, hairstyle, skin color, voice, et cetera—will be pointed out by their peers and used to embarrass them. Sometimes even adults who should know better will play this cruel game. It’s your job as parents to counteract these hurtful comments with love. Encourage your children. Remind them of their strong qualities and abilities. And above all, employ Scripture passages such as Luke 16:15 to teach your kids that the misguided values of man are often the very opposite of the values of God: “For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (nkjv).

Before you say good night…

  • Do you ever tease your children in ways that hurt?
  • How can you help your kids feel positive about their unique characteristics?

O Lord, if only we could see into hearts as You do. If only we could see the wounds and burdens in our child’s spirit. Your eyes miss nothing, Lord. Grant us wisdom so that we might comfort and encourage even as You do. 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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February 2018
January 2018

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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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