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Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

parenting devotional banner Dr. Dobson

Changing with the Times

Blessed is the man…who gains understanding.
Proverbs 3:13

The summer after I graduated from high school, I (JCD) traveled fifteen hundred miles from home and entered a college in California. I will never forget the exhilarating feeling of freedom that swept over me. I felt accountable for my life and did not have to explain my actions to anyone. The following December, my parents and I met for Christmas vacation at the home of relatives. Suddenly, I found myself in conflict with my mother. She was responding as she had when I was still in high school, asking when I would be coming in at night, urging me to drive safely, and watching what I ate. My mother had failed to notice that I had changed, and I was eager for her to get with the program.

In a similar way, when Mary and Joseph discovered that their twelve-year-old, Jesus, was not with their party on its way out of Jerusalem, they did not know where to look for Him. They eventually found Him in the temple courts, listening and asking questions. They didn’t realize how far Jesus had grown in comprehending His unique relationship with His heavenly Father: “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:41–50).

Scripture instructs us to “walk in the way of understanding” (Proverbs 9:6). When we seek to understand and adapt to the changes in our children, we’ll find we appreciate them all the more—and vice versa.

Before you say good night…

  • How have your children changed in the last few months?
  • Are you treating them with new “understanding” as a result?

Heavenly Father, we ask You to guide our relationships with our children. Help us to recognize their growth and maturity and to encourage them even as they change to draw nearer to You. Thank You for showing us how to “walk in the way of understanding.” Amen.

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 reserved. Used 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.


The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute (JDFI) is a Christian non-profit organization located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Founded initially as Family Talk 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 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. In 2017, the ministry rebranded under JDFI to expand its four core ministry divisions consisting of Family Talk, the Dobson Policy and Education Centers, and the Dobson Digital Library.


Dr. Dobson's flagship program, "Family Talk," is aired on more than 1,300 terrestrial radio outlets and numerous digital channels that reach millions of people each month.

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.

Contact Family Talk Videos with Dr. James Dobson

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Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Phone Number
877.732.6825