Course Correction

[The Lord] guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
Psalm 25:9

A blizzard had confined our family and our guests to a ski lodge for three days, giving us a major case of cabin fever. Finally, on Sunday, we awoke to clear slopes and a brilliant blue sky. But what were we to do? Our family had made it a lifelong policy to attend church on the Sabbath and refrain from skiing or going to professional athletic events (we respect the fact that many Christians take a different view of this issue). On this particular Sunday, I (JCD) rationalized, deciding that an exception was in order. I announced, “It’s such a beautiful day. We can have our devotions tonight. I think it’s okay to ski.” Everyone was jubilant—or so I thought.

A few minutes later I found my eleven-year-old son crying. “Dad,” Ryan said, “I have never seen you compromise before. If this was wrong in the past, then it’s still wrong today.” My son’s words hit me like a blow from a hammer. I eventually regained my composure and said the words he needed to hear: “Ryan, you’re right.” Instead of skiing that day, we went to church in a nearby town. We extended our trip and had a marvelous time on the slopes the next day.

It’s vital to set a consistent, biblical example for your children—but your willingness to humbly admit to and correct any deviations from that course may be the most important lesson of all.

Before you say good night…

  • Are you willing to admit your mistakes to your children?
  • Are you compromising your standards for the sake of convenience?

Lord, as You know, we are prone to wander. Please give us strength to continue on the path You’ve given us to walk, grace to admit when we’ve drifted off course, and perseverance to hold fast to Your ways. Amen.

Illustration adapted from Bringing Up Boys copyright © 2001 by James Dobson, Inc. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.