By Dr. James Dobson
Violence in the media has taught kids the wrong way to deal with tormentors. Teens, including those with wounded spirits, live every day with images of killing, poisoning, maiming, decapitating, knifing, crashing, and exploding. It is everywhere, from the theater to cable television to music videos and the Internet. One of the most popular movies a few years ago was Scream, produced by Miramax—a subsidiary owned, it is sad to say, by the Disney Corporation. The film opened with the brutal killing of a...
We come now to the final task assigned to mothers and fathers, that of releasing grown children and launching them into the world of adulthood. It is also one of the most difficult. Several years ago, we explored this topic by conducting another informal poll of the Focus on the Family radio listeners. I asked them to react to this question: "What are the greatest problems you face in dealing with your parents or in-laws, and how...
I sometimes ask people if they can remember the first thing created by God when He set the worlds in place. They try to recall from Genesis 1 whether He first made light, the firmament, or the heavens. None of those answers is correct. We find in Proverbs 8 that the creation of the physical universe was preceded by something else. In this passage, God's value system--His "wisdom"--speaks in first person. Let's read it together:
Question: Dr. Dobson, are you saying that God does not speak directly to the heart--that all impressions are false and unreliable?
Answer: Certainly not. It is the expressed purpose of the Holy Spirit to deal with human beings in a most personal and intimate way, convicting and directing and influencing. However, some people seem to find it...
Question: How do you think this unseen spiritual world influences our day-by-day activities in this Christian walk?
My Answer: I don't know, but it makes for interesting speculation. Let me share a personal experience just to contemplate the possibilities. Some years ago, I was engaged in research that required me to visit 16 major medical centers each year. One of those trips took me to New York City where I fulfilled my hospital responsibilities and then took...
Many psychologists seem to feel that all anger should be ventilated or verbalized. They say it is emotionally and physically harmful to repress or withhold any intense feeling. Can you harmonize this scientific understanding with the scriptural commandment that "everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry? (Jas. 1:19).
Question: I've often heard that God will not abandon us when we go through the fiery trial. But I don't know what that really means. You've shown that He still lets us go through some hard times. What can we expect from Him in the stressful moments?
It is my strong belief that a child should be exposed to a carefully conceived, systematic program of religious training. Yet we are much too haphazard about this matter. Perhaps we would hit the mark more often if we more clearly recognized the precise target.
The character of God is illustrated in the person of Jesus, whose death on the Roman cross is relevant to our discussion. Few of us can imagine the agony of death by crucifixion. (The only way a victim could exhale on the cross was to push upward on his nail-pierced feet--which explains why death inevitably followed the breaking of the legs.)
One of the most breathtaking concepts in all of Scripture is the revelation that God knows each of us personally and that we are in His mind both day and night. There is simply no way to comprehend the full implications of this love by the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, majestic and holy, from everlasting to everlasting. Why would He care about us—about our needs, our welfare, our fears? We have been discussing situations in which God doesn't make sense. His concern for us mere mortals is the most inexplicable of all.
Some people have the notion that the Lord is entitled to 10 percent of our income, which is called our "tithes," and that the other 90 percent belongs to us. Not true. I believe strongly in the concept of tithing, but not because God's portion is limited to a tenth. We are but stewards of all that He has entrusted to us. He is our possessor--and sometimes our dispossessor. Everything we have is but a loan from Him. When God took away his wealth, Job had the correct attitude, saying...
Though the task of child rearing is truly daunting for the overworked and underappreciated mom or dad, the most likely candidate of all for burnout is the single parent. He or she deserves our sincere admiration. These individuals, usually women, must complete the duties ordinarily assigned to husbands and wives without the support and love of a partner. Their lives run not on level ground, but uphill, seven days a week.
There's nothing wrong with having a passion and a dream. It should, however, be kept in balance with other valuable components of your life--your family and your relationship with God being chief among them.
We all need rest to thrive. It's not just a convenience that we try to squeeze into our schedules or an indulgence for those who aren't willing to work hard. Regular times of quiet and stillness are a spiritual and biological necessity. Many members of the animal kingdom, as well as certain plant species, will hibernate or lie dormant through the winter months in order to survive. We humans have a much harder time acknowledging the natural rhythms of life.
Early this year, my husband of eleven years announced that he didn't love me anymore. Joe told me that he would be leaving, though by begging and pleading with him I convinced him to stay for a while. Then one night he became so cruel and said many mean things before walking out. Every time I see him I humiliate myself. I beg him to call the kids and me, but he only says, "I don't want to talk to you." I tell him how much I love him, and he'll reply, "I have no love for you! I don't hate you, but I don't love you either." I was recently told by my doctor that I must have surgery on my eyes next week and that I might lose my vision. Out of fear and panic, I broke down and called my husband, but he responded with indifference to the news. I asked if he would take me to the hospital and stay in the waiting room while I had the surgery. Joe hesitated and then said, "Well, I guess so." Why is Joe acting this way to me? Is there something I am doing wrong?
Our fifteen-year-old son literally seethes with hostility at home—at his mother and me—at his sisters—at the world. Believe me, we have done noth¬ing to provoke this anger, and I don't understand what has caused it. But other parents of teens report the same problem. Why are so many adolescents angry at their parents and family? Sometimes they seem to hate the people who love them the most!
By Dr. Dobson Blog
There are at least five ways you can discern the will of the Lord. First, the apostle Paul wrote in the book of Ephesians, "And this is my prayer. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the all-glorious Father, will give you spiritual wisdom and the insight to know more of him" (Ephesians 1:16-17, Phillips). He wouldn't have said that unless it were possible through prayer to gain spiritual wisdom and insight. Therefore, a search for God's will should begin on your knees. He will meet you there. Remember that Jesus promised, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7)...
When your daughter goes to school tomorrow, tell her to watch the students who are coming and going. Some will be smiling and laughing and talking and carrying their books and playing baseball. Unless you take a second look, you'd never know they had a care in the world. But I assure you, many of them have the same concerns that trouble your daughter. They reveal these doubts by being very...
If I were to draw a caricature of an adult experiencing a lifelong crisis of confidence, I would depict a bowed, weary traveler. Over his shoulder, I would place the end of a mile‐long chain attached to tons of garbage. Inscribed on each piece of junk would be the details of some humiliation—a failure, a rejection, an embarrassment from the past. The traveler could let go of the chain, but he is convinced that he must drag that heavy load throughout life.
Let me offer a word of advice. It is illustrated by an account of a battle described in the book of Joshua that occurred more than three thousand years ago. Joshua led a portion of his troops in a frontal assault of the Canaanite city of Ai. The Ai defenders came out in force to meet the Israelites, but they had been lured into a trap. The remainder of Israel’s forces slipped in behind the enemy army and attacked the now-defenseless city. Ai’s warriors looked back in shock and disbelief as they saw smoke rising from their burning homes.
Justice In The Home
Never Give Up
"Above All Else"
The Influence of Friends
From Mourning to Morning
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Connect With 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; and, most recently, Head Over Heels.
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 three 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 “Great American Award” from The Awakening.
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.
How to Raise a Brat
A Message To Husbands and Wives
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