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Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Temporary Deprivation

He who gathers money little by little makes it grow.
Proverbs 13:11

In today’s “instant gratification” society, impulse shopping has become a way of life. We see a new set of golf clubs, a dress, even a minivan, and without thinking we’re suddenly pulling out a credit card. But what kind of message does this behavior send to our children?

You can find the answer by watching a child open an endless stack of presents during a birthday party attended by friends. One after another, expensive gifts are tossed aside with little more than a glance and no thought to a “thank you.” We shouldn’t be surprised. Prizes that are won cheaply are of little value, regardless of the cost to the original purchaser.

On the other hand, the child who spends weeks doing extra chores in order to earn money for a highly sought reward learns several important lessons. He sees how honest work over a lengthy period of time causes his nest egg to grow (Proverbs 13:11). He begins to understand how goals can be accomplished through patience and persistence (Hebrews 12:1). And when the reward is in hand, he takes better care of it and appreciates it far more than if it had simply been handed to him (Psalm 128:2).

We suggest that you and your family adopt a policy of “temporary deprivation” when it comes to spending. It’s ultimately more satisfying…and much less expensive.

Before you say good night…

  • Do you give your kids too much?
  • Are you teaching your children to earn and appreciate their rewards?
  • How often do you implement “temporary deprivation”?

Lord, help us to be wise in the way we give to our children and provide for their wants and needs. It’s so easy to just go along with the crowd and do what everyone else seems to be doing. Show us how You want us to live. 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 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.

Contact Family Talk Videos with Dr. James Dobson

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