NightLight For Couples

Christmas Memories

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3

Some of my (jcd’s) favorite memories are from the Christmas season. I remember the year my father returned from the bank with twenty crisp, new one‐dollar bills. Those were the days when a dollar would buy a meal. He attached a Merry Christmas note to each bill and handed one to the newsboy, the shoeshine man, the postman, and seventeen others. He was simply thanking them for being his friends.

Another memory was made years later when Shirley, the kids, and I flew to Kansas City to spend the holidays with my parents. When I stepped off the plane and into the terminal, I caught sight of my father. He had a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face; Mom also was aglow with excitement. Their family had come home. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.

Every season offers opportunities for unforgettable moments to share with your spouse and family. Seize them—and savor them.

Just between us…

  • What is your favorite holiday? Why?
  • What is your fondest memory of a holiday season we’ve spent together?
  • What can we do to keep alive the memory of all our special moments?
  • How can we make our faith a more central part of our family celebrations?

Lord, thank You for giving us “the heritage of those who fear Your name.” Thank You for the many special times You have given us and for the wonderful memories that go with them. May we recognize and cherish these gifts and pass them on to our children. Amen.

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

Bible Gateway

Night Light For Parents

Refrigerator Art

A voice came from heaven: “You are my Son,whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:11

Ellen, a thirty-four-year-old mother of three, enrolled in an art class at a local community college. One day her instructor announced that the assignment completed on the first day of class would be included in a notebook that was to be a major part of her grade. “May I do another project?” Ellen asked the instructor in an anxious voice. “I don’t have the first one anymore.” The instructor asked what had happened to the earlier work. Ellen replied with a trace of pride in her voice, “It’s on my mother’s fridge.”

Though your relationships with your children naturally change when they become adults, it doesn’t mean that you stop being parents. You can still look for ways to honor the achievements of your grown kids, to affirm their positive choices, to show your pride in the men and women they’ve become. When you do, you’ll find yourself developing new levels of mutual appreciation and respect with your maturing sons and daughters.

If our heavenly Father chooses to part the heavens to announce His pleasure in His Son (Mark 1:10–11), we can certainly make the effort to celebrate the accomplishments of our own children. You might start with that empty space on your refrigerator door.

Before you say good night…

How will you show your grown kids that you’re still proud of them?

In what ways have your parents affirmed you as an adult?

How did those affirmations make you feel?

Father, critical, dishonoring words seem to slip so easily from our lips. By the power of Your indwelling Spirit, help us by our words and deeds to build up, encourage, and celebrate our children…and each other, too, as husband and wife. Amen.

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

Bible Gateway

Zechariah 10-11

The Lord Restores His People

10 Ask the Lord for rain
in the season of spring rain.
The Lord makes the rain clouds,
and he will give them showers of rain
and crops in the field for everyone.
For the idols speak falsehood,
and the diviners see illusions;
they relate empty dreams
and offer empty comfort.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
they suffer affliction because there is no shepherd.
My anger burns against the shepherds,
so I will punish the leaders.
For the Lord of Armies has tended his flock,
the house of Judah;
he will make them like his majestic steed in battle.
The cornerstone will come from Judah.
The tent peg will come from them
and also the battle bow and every ruler.
Together they will be like warriors in battle
trampling down the mud of the streets.
They will fight because the Lord is with them,
and they will put horsemen to shame.
I will strengthen the house of Judah
and deliver the house of Joseph.
I will restore them
because I have compassion on them,
and they will be
as though I had never rejected them.
For I am the Lord their God,
and I will answer them.
Ephraim will be like a warrior,
and their hearts will be glad as if with wine.
Their children will see it and be glad;
their hearts will rejoice in the Lord.

I will whistle and gather them
because I have redeemed them;
they will be as numerous as they once were.
Though I sow them among the nations,
they will remember me in the distant lands;
they and their children will live and return.
10 I will bring them back from the land of Egypt
and gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to the land of Gilead
and to Lebanon,
but it will not be enough for them.
11 The Lord will pass through the sea of distress
and strike the waves of the sea;
all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
The pride of Assyria will be brought down,
and the scepter of Egypt will come to an end.
12 I will strengthen them in the Lord,
and they will march in his name—

this is the Lord’s declaration.

Israel’s Shepherds: Good and Bad

11 Open your gates, Lebanon,
and fire will consume your cedars.
Wail, cypress, for the cedar has fallen;
the glorious trees are destroyed!
Wail, oaks of Bashan,
for the stately forest has fallen!
Listen to the wail of the shepherds,
for their glory is destroyed.
Listen to the roar of young lions,
for the thickets of the Jordan are destroyed.

The Lord my God says this: “Shepherd the flock intended for slaughter. Those who buy them slaughter them but are not punished. Those who sell them say: Blessed be the Lord because I have become rich! Even their own shepherds have no compassion for them. Indeed, I will no longer have compassion on the inhabitants of the land”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Instead, I will turn everyone over to his neighbor and his king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue it from their hand.”

So I shepherded the flock intended for slaughter, the oppressed of the flock. I took two staffs, calling one Favor and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock. In one month I got rid of three shepherds. I became impatient with them, and they also detested me. Then I said, “I will no longer shepherd you. Let what is dying die, and let what is perishing perish; let the rest devour each other’s flesh.” 10 Next I took my staff called Favor and cut it in two, annulling the covenant I had made with all the peoples. 11 It was annulled on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock who were watching me knew that it was the word of the Lord. 12 Then I said to them, “If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” So they weighed my wages, thirty pieces of silver.

13 “Throw it to the potter,” the Lord said to me—this magnificent price I was valued by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw it into the house of the Lord, to the potter. 14 Then I cut in two my second staff, Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

15 The Lord also said to me: “Take the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are perishing, and he will not seek the lost or heal the broken. He will not sustain the healthy, but he will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hooves.

17 Woe to the worthless shepherd
who deserts the flock!
May a sword strike his arm
and his right eye!
May his arm wither away
and his right eye go completely blind!”

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Revelation 18

The Fall of Babylon the Great

18 After this I saw another angel with great authority coming down from heaven, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. He called out in a mighty voice:

It has fallen,
Babylon the Great has fallen!
She has become a home for demons,
a haunt for every unclean spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
and a haunt for every unclean and despicable beast.
For all the nations have drunk
the wine of her sexual immorality,
which brings wrath.
The kings of the earth
have committed sexual immorality with her,
and the merchants of the earth
have grown wealthy from her sensuality and excess.

Then I heard another voice from heaven:

Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins
or receive any of her plagues.
For her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
Pay her back the way she also paid,
and double it according to her works.
In the cup in which she mixed,
mix a double portion for her.
As much as she glorified herself and indulged her sensual and excessive ways,
give her that much torment and grief.
For she says in her heart,
“I sit as a queen;
I am not a widow,
and I will never see grief.”
For this reason her plagues will come in just one day—
death and grief and famine.
She will be burned up with fire,
because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.

The World Mourns Babylon’s Fall

The kings of the earth who have committed sexual immorality and shared her sensual and excessive ways will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke from her burning. 10 They will stand far off in fear of her torment, saying,

Woe, woe, the great city,
Babylon, the mighty city!
For in a single hour
your judgment has come.

11 The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo any longer— 12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of fragrant wood products; objects of ivory; objects of expensive wood, brass, iron, and marble; 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine flour, and grain; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and slaves—human lives.

14 The fruit you craved has left you.
All your splendid and glamorous things are gone;
they will never find them again.

15 The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand far off in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16 saying,

Woe, woe, the great city,
dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet,
adorned with gold, jewels, and pearls;
17 for in a single hour
such fabulous wealth was destroyed!

And every shipmaster, seafarer, the sailors, and all who do business by sea, stood far off 18 as they watched the smoke from her burning and kept crying out: “Who was like the great city?” 19 They threw dust on their heads and kept crying out, weeping, and mourning,

Woe, woe, the great city,
where all those who have ships on the sea
became rich from her wealth;
for in a single hour she was destroyed.
20 Rejoice over her, heaven,
and you saints, apostles, and prophets,
because God has pronounced on her the judgment she passed on you!

The Finality of Babylon’s Fall

21 Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a large millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

In this way, Babylon the great city
will be thrown down violently
and never be found again.
22 The sound of harpists, musicians,
flutists, and trumpeters
will never be heard in you again;
no craftsman of any trade
will ever be found in you again;
the sound of a mill
will never be heard in you again;
23 the light of a lamp
will never shine in you again;
and the voice of a groom and bride
will never be heard in you again.
All this will happen
because your merchants
were the nobility of the earth,
because all the nations were deceived
by your sorcery.
24 In her was found the blood of prophets and saints,
and of all those slaughtered on the earth.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Psalm 146

Psalm 146

The God of Compassion

Hallelujah!
My soul, praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing to my God as long as I live.

Do not trust in nobles,
in a son of man, who cannot save.
When his breath leaves him,
he returns to the ground;
on that day his plans die.

Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea and everything in them.
He remains faithful forever,
executing justice for the exploited
and giving food to the hungry.
The Lord frees prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord raises up those who are oppressed.
The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord protects resident aliens
and helps the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

10 The Lord reigns forever;
Zion, your God reigns for all generations.
Hallelujah!

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Proverbs 30:33

33 For the churning of milk produces butter,
and twisting a nose draws blood,
and stirring up anger produces strife.