Night Light For Couples

The Conversation Game

“As a fair exchange… open wide your hearts.” 2 Corinthians 6:13

My husband has used a single illustration to help parents teach the art of communication to their children. It might be useful to our female readers, as well, in explaining to their husbands how to talk to them. It goes like this:

Give three tennis balls to your husband and ask him to throw them back one at a time. Instead of returning the balls, however, simply hold them. He’ll be left wondering what to do next. Obviously, it isn’t much of a game. Then explain your point—good conversation is much like a game of catch. You “throw” an idea or comment to your husband (How was work?), and he tosses it back (Great! I finally finished that project for the boss). If your husband doesn’t return it (Work was fine), the game ends. Both players feel awkward and wish they were somewhere else.

Of course, husbands and wives should do more than toss superficial details to each other. They should practice sharing dreams, feelings, marriage, spiritual goals, etc. But it all starts with playing the conversation game.

– Shirley M Dobson

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Night Light For Parents

Fatherly Love

Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter. Esther 2:7

This week we’ve addressed the awesome privileges and responsibilities of fathers. I’d like to speak tonight to a group of dads who are especially close to my heart: stepfathers.

My own father was an alcoholic. As a child I often hid when he arrived at our run-down home in the early morning hours, drunk and shouting threats. I remember finally praying to God in desperation: If Dad isn’t going to change, then please get us out of this house and give us the kind of father that will love and provide for us.

After much suffering related to my father’s continued drunkenness and an illicit relationship, my parents divorced when I was in sixth grade. My mother, brother, and I moved to a tiny house where at last we could sleep through the night in peace. A year later, my mother married a man who had been a confirmed bachelor. My new stepfather was a faithful husband and good provider. Though he wasn’t a Christian at the time, both he and my mother later committed their lives to Jesus.

I am so thankful that the Lord answered my prayer and delivered this wonderful man to our family. Joe Kubishta brought high moral standards, warmth, and much-needed stability into our lives. My mother, my brother, and I fell for his sunny disposition and big smile. Even though I wasn’t his “real” daughter, he showed me the fatherly respect and kindness I had longed for.

If you are a stepfather, I encourage you to display the same caring and sensitivity toward your stepchildren. They may not accept you as openly as I did Joe; they may even want nothing to do with you. Underneath such outward appearances, however, are vulnerable girls and boys yearning for a man who will demonstrate genuine fatherly love.

No matter what your family situation, I implore you to be the kind of father that our heavenly Father calls you to be. Your commitment will be the answer to a little child’s prayers.

-Shirley M. Dobson

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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