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Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Gift or Curse?

If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:8

Many parents who have been blessed financially plan to leave a large inheritance to their children. They’ve worked hard to achieve prosperity and naturally feel that their kids should benefit from their success. If you are among these generous moms and dads, we urge you to proceed with caution—great danger lies behind your good intentions.

We believe that giving large amounts of money to kids who haven’t earned it can be extremely destructive. It can make them unhappy, greedy, and cynical. It detracts from their motivation to trust in God and provides opportunities to give in to new temptations. (A sociological study published years ago, Rich Kids, validated these concerns.) It’s also been our observation that nothing divides siblings more quickly than money. Many loving families have been devasted over inheritances, or even by arguments about “Who gets Grandma’s dining-room table?”

Some people do handle wealth gracefully, of course. But if you have been blessed with material wealth, you must decide if leaving a large inheritance is worth the risk. Do you want to remove from your children the challenges that helped you succeed—the obligation to work hard, live frugally, save, build, dream, and rely on the Lord? The best counsel is available in Scripture (Proverbs 30:8): “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”

Before you say good night…

  • Are you teaching your children to trust the Lord for their daily needs?
  • What kind of inheritance do you want to leave your kids?

Thank You, Father, for the way You have provided for us through the years. Help us to trust You more and more as the days go by, that we might grow in our faith and be an example to our children. Amen.

Study released from Rich Kids by John Sedgwick (New York, N.Y.: William Morrow and Company, 1985), as quoted in Solid Answers by Dr. James Dobson (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale, 1997).

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 Videos

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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