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Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Awards Assembly

He who seeks good finds goodwill.
Proverbs 11:27

For years, Roger had poked and prodded Gordon, his oldest son, to be a better student. Roger was always a little disappointed in Gordon and his B-average grades. He never quite measured up to Roger’s expectations.

When Gordon was a senior in high school, Roger was puzzled by an invitation to a student awards assembly. He couldn’t imagine any awards that Gordon would win. Roger went to the event anyway, but grew increasingly annoyed at watching other students march up the aisle for applause. Why was he here? Why was his son so mediocre? Finally, the principal came to the last presentation—a new award for an exceptional student. Roger was astonished to hear Gordon’s name announced, followed by a long description of his son’s fine character, kindness, trustworthiness, and quiet leadership. The principal finished by thanking Gordon, saying, “No one who has really gotten to know you will ever be quite the same again.”

Roger had never gotten to know his son, much less appreciate him for who he was. In his efforts to teach and “improve” Gordon, Roger became blind to his son’s best qualities. It reminds us of this Proverb: “He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it” (11:27). Teach your children, but remember also to seek out and acknowledge their positive traits. You’ll discover a son or daughter to be proud of.

Before you say good night…

  • Are you overlooking any of your children’s positive traits?
  • How might you change the way you “value” your kids?

Heavenly Father, teach us to value our children for who they are, rather than who we wish them to be. Help us to know their thoughts and dreams, their strengths and weaknesses, their fears and failures. Enable us to love them unequivocally, just as You love us. Amen.

Illustration adapted from “Awards Ceremony” by P. R. from Sons: A Father’s Love by Bob Carlisle (Nashville, Tenn.: Word Publishing, 1999).

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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