I Love You!


“This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:17

One of the best ways to sustain true love between you and your mate is to build a bridge of loving memories. I am reminded of a husband named Jim who was tragically killed in an accident while driving home from work. It was his wife Carol’s fiftieth birthday. Rescue teams found two plane tickets to Hawaii in his pocket; he had planned to surprise Carol with them.

Months later, Carol was asked how she was coping. She answered that on their wedding day, she and Jim had promised to say “I love you” before noon each day of their marriage. Over the years it had become a fun—and often difficult—challenge. She recalled running down the driveway saying “I love you,” even though she was angry at Jim. On other occasions she drove to his office to drop a note in his car before the noon deadline. The effort it took to keep that promise led to many positive memories of their years together.

The morning Jim died, he left a birthday card in the kitchen, then slipped out to the car. Carol heard the engine starting and raced outside. She banged on the car window until he rolled it down, then yelled over the roar of the engine, “Here on my fiftieth birthday, Mr. James E. Garret, I, Carol Garret, want to go on record as saying ‘I love you!’”

“That’s how I’ve survived,” Carol said later. “Knowing that the last words I said to Jim were I love you!”

We can build bridges across the span of our lives in many ways— with cards and flowers, through special shared moments, or, like Jim and Carol, with a simple “I love you” expressed each day. Cherished memories established over the course of your marriage will give you and your mate the foundation for a genuine love that endures a lifetime.

Shirley M. Dobson

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Illustration by Debbi Smoot from Moments for Each other by Robert Strand (Green Forest, Ariz.: New Leaf Press, 1993). Reprinted in More Stories for the Heart, comp. Alice Gray (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc. 1997).

Divine Help


“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

When confronted with the awesome responsibilities of parenthood—not to mention the incredible evil in today’s world—it’s no surprise that many parents feel an urgent need to pray continually for their children. When Danae was about three years old, Jim and I realized that as parents we needed divine help. We began fasting and praying for Danae, and later for Ryan, almost every week (a practice that I continue to this day). Our prayer went something like this: “Lord, give us the wisdom to raise the precious children You have loaned to us, and above all else, help us bring them to the feet of Jesus. This is more important to us than our health or our work or our finances. What we ask most fervently is that the circle be unbroken when we meet in heaven.”

God has not only heard this prayer, but also blessed it in ways we never anticipated. Our prayer time has become a project that Jim and I enjoy together, drawing us closer to each other as we draw closer to God. In addition, the act of fasting each week serves as an important reminder of our priorities: It’s difficult to forget your highest values when one day out of seven is spent focusing entirely on them. Finally, our children were influenced by these acts of discipline. When they observed us fasting or praying, it gave us the opportunity to explain why we did these things, how much we loved them, and how much we loved and trusted the Lord.

God hears and honors—in His perfect timing—our petitions on behalf of our children. If you want the very best for your sons and daughters, I urge you to call on the greatest power in the universe in frequent prayer.

– Shirley M Dobson

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Prayer from Bringing Up Boys copyright © 2001 by James Dobson, Inc. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

My Utmost For His Highest

uIs My Sacrifice Living?

Abraham built an altar…; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar…  Genesis 22:9

This event is a picture of the mistake we make in thinking that the ultimate God wants of us is the sacrifice of death. What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, that is, sacrifice our lives. Not— “Lord, I am ready to go with You…to death” (Luke 22:33). But— “I am willing to be identified with Your death so that I may sacrifice my life to God.”

We seem to think that God wants us to give up things! God purified Abraham from this error, and the same process is at work in our lives. God never tells us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up, but He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, namely, life with Himself. It is a matter of loosening the bands that hold back our lives. Those bands are loosened immediately by identification with the death of Jesus. Then we enter into a relationship with God whereby we may sacrifice our lives to Him.

It is of no value to God to give Him your life for death. He wants you to be a “living sacrifice”— to let Him have all your strengths that have been saved and sanctified through Jesus (Romans 12:1). This is what is acceptable to God. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Genesis 20-22; Matthew 6:19-34



Matthew 1:22–25 “This took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name ‘Immanuel’” (vv. 22–23).

Liberals have long scrutinized Matthew 1:22–23 and the passage it quotes, Isaiah 7:14, leading them to deny the virgin birth. They say that since Isaiah uses almah, a Hebrew term literally translated as “maiden,” he is not affirming the virgin birth. This argument has no merit, for almah almost always refers to a young woman who is also a virgin. Also, the Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament, understands that Isaiah is talking about a virgin as it renders almah with parthenos, the normal Greek word for “virgin.”

We wholeheartedly affirm the virgin birth of Jesus based on today’s passage and Luke 1:26–38. But let us note that Matthew may not be reading Isaiah as has been often supposed. When we look at the word “fulfill” in Matthew 1:22–23, we tend to think Isaiah saw into the future and made a prediction that could only come true for Mary. However, Isaiah 7:14 would then have no meaning to its original readers, Israelites living centuries before Jesus.

The context of Isaiah 7:14 explains why Matthew cites this verse. When Ahaz reigned in Judah, Syria and Israel threatened to invade Judah if he would not join them against the Assyrian empire (v. 1). Yet this threat actually tempted Ahaz to seek aid from Assyria against these foes. God promised him protection if he did not join with Assyria, telling the king to ask for a sign to confirm His pledge (vv. 2–11). But Ahaz did not trust the Lord and would not ask for a sign. God gave Ahaz a sign anyway — a sign of cursing, not blessing! A child’s birth would signify that God would use Assyria to judge faithless Judah (vv. 12–25).

By natural means, Isaiah and his wife — formerly the virgin maiden — would produce Maher-shalal-hash-baz (8:1–4), a sign of God’s curse on those who trusted in an alliance with Assyria. (vv. 5–22). And as the prophet warned, Ahaz would be humiliated in his deal with the Assyrian Empire (2 Chron. 28).

If this curse foretold by Isaiah came to pass, how can we escape the curse if we do not trust God when the sign is the very Son of God, born of a virgin? Just as Isaiah’s son signified a curse on Judah’s unbelief, so too does Jesus’ miraculous birth signify disaster for those who do not submit to God’s royal Son.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

The fulfillment of prophecy in Jesus can only be understood if we first understand the meaning and application of the prophetic word for its original audience. In this case, Jesus fulfills or “fills up” the word of Isaiah because He, as a Son brought forth by extraordinary means, is the sign of a greater curse or blessing depending on how we respond to the Gospel. Let us follow Him alone as Savior and Lord so that we may receive the greater blessing.

For further study:

Isaiah 11:1–10

The Bible in a year:

Genesis 20–22