Beautiful Music

“Lean not on your own understanding.”  
Proverbs 3:5

I can’t tell you the number of times, especially during our early years together, that the requirements of being a godly wife and mother have seemed to be completely out of reach for me.

Perhaps you face similar feelings tonight. You want to keep growing, try‐ing, getting better, but you’re not sure if you can hope for success. If so, I want to share one of my favorite stories with you. It reminds me how the Lord can turn our small, sincere efforts into a masterpiece. . . .

Wishing to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano, a mother took her small boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. The little boy seized the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall. After wandering a while, he eventually made his way through a door marked “No Admittance.”

Then the house lights dimmed. The mother returned to her seat for the beginning of the concert only to discover that her son was missing. Before she could start her search, the curtains parted and the spotlights shone on the impressive Steinway grand piano on stage. There, innocently picking out “Chopsticks,” sat her little boy. The mother froze in horror. The audience began to murmur with irritation. Meanwhile backstage, the great piano master overheard the childish playing and the rumblings from the audience. Quickly he donned his jacket and made his entrance. Moving to the piano, he whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing!” Then Paderewski leaned over, reached around both sides of the boy, and began to improvise a countermelody to harmonize with the boy’s rendition of “Chopsticks.”

Music—at once childlike and mellow, simple and profound—filled the auditorium. Everyone sat mesmerized, none more so than the boy’s awestruck mother. . . .

Do your efforts to grow and flourish in your marriage feel inadequate, timid, unpromising? You’re not in this alone! Remember that the Lord’s loving arms are around you. Lean on His strength and guidance. You’ll grow in ways you never thought possible and make music together more wonderful than you ever imagined.

Our encouragement to you is simple: “Don’t quit. Keep playing!” With the blessing of the Master, your efforts together will become some‐thing beautiful and unforgettable.
- Shirley M Dobson

• Illustration by Charles Swindoll from Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life (Zondervan, 1983). Reprinted in Stories for the Heart, comp. Alice Gray (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 1996).

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 Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.