Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Know Where You’re Going

Those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.
Proverbs 14:22

Early in their marriage, FamilyLife ministry cofounders Dennis and Barbara Rainey decided to go away for a weekend. Their goal was more than a couple days of relaxation. Separately, they each created a list of values that they wanted to one day teach their children. After making their lists, Dennis and Barbara came together and settled on their top five family values. That project was a wonderful time of sharing for the Raineys that also established “true north” for their journey as parents. In later years, Dennis and Barbara had a written record to refer to when child-rearing issues arose. In fact, Dennis still carries that dog-eared piece of paper with him wherever he goes.

Whether you write your values list on paper or in your heart, it’s important to recognize where you are leading your family. As Yogi Berra once said, “You got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” Your children will discover and embrace the values that matter—love for each other, kindness, integrity, devotion to God—only if you have the right map to lead them there. Choose your values wisely (see examples in Matthew 7:12  >Romans 12:9–13  >1 Corinthians 16:13–14; >2 Peter 1:5–7 —then stay on the trail!

Before you say good night…

  • Do you have a plan for leading your family?
  • What are your family’s top five values?
  • Are you passing on your values to your kids?
  • How can you do a better job of this?

Lord Jesus, apart from You, we wouldn’t even know where to start. Help us to lead our children; help us to set the pace toward a godly life. Show us what You value most so that we might live those values within our home…and before a watching world. In Your strong name, amen.

Values list material from Growing a Spiritually Strong Family by Dennis and Barbara Rainey with Bruce Nygren (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 2002).

Listen to today's broadcast of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk at OnePlace.com.  For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at drjamesdobson.org.

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 My 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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