Speaking of public figures, James Dobson stepped down as the head of Focus on the Family. Although he is not Catholic and therefore holds some beliefs that I don’t endorse, I have always admired Dobson’s work. The family is the main focus of attack in our age, and I believe more people have been estranged from the Lord through a broken family than any other cause over the past 50 years. Whenever I think of Dobson, however, I can’t help but think of the story of his father.
Dobson’s dad was a popular traveling evangelist, and was quite successful at it. However, his job also meant that he was away from home a decent amount of the time. When young James Dobson was a teenager, he got into a bit of trouble. Finally, it got quite bad and Dobson’s mom called his father and told him he had to do something about his son. Dobson senior immediately came home from his preaching tour, talked to Dobson’s mom, then decided on the spot to quit his ministry, move to a small town in Texas and take a job as the pastor of a small church. This meant the end of his success, but allowed him more time with his son, and young James Dobson turned around his life.
I am awed by this story of Dobson’s father. As a father myself, I know how important my children are to me, yet I wonder if I would have the wisdom and strength to give up success so readily for their sake.