Pastor Greg Laurie interviewed renowned family expert Dr. James Dobson during the morning service at California's Harvest Church on Sunday, asking the founder of Focus on the Family questions ranging from culture and family to his personal life, including his favorite music and what makes him angry.
Pastor Laurie introduced Dobson, author of several books, to his congregation as "a living legend, a man of God."
Dobson, who has served on government advisories and panels, said he shares the same passion as his father, who was an evangelist, but through the family.
"The family is like the red blood cell in the body; it carries globules of oxygen. The family carries the oxygen to the body," he said.
In his biography, Dobson says the two most important things in his life are ensuring that he and his loved ones get to heaven and living the best possible Christian life. "Why is it so?" Laurie asked.
"What else is there? What can compete with that?" asked Dobson.
Laurie mentioned that Dobson's wife, Shirley, had a troubled childhood. Her father was an alcoholic. During courtship, when she shared with Dobson about it, he said that his response, instead of leaving her, was, "I want to make up to you for what you've lost, for what you've experienced. And that's been the goal of my life, to take care of her, to love her."
Laurie commented that every Christian husband should think likewise.
"That's one of the goals God has given to men. There are five elements to it," Dobson said. Those elements are to: respect, protect, provide for, provide leadership to her and provide leadership to the rest of the family.
Asked to define the family, Dobson said, "You find it in Genesis 2:24, 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?' That's the beginning of family, that's the beginning of marriage. It was not man's idea; it was God's idea. That attraction between men and women has characterized basic social unit in every continent. It's not just a Christian thing. ... It's the foundation; everything sits on it."
If you undermine or weaken the family, the whole superstructure could come down, Dobson warned.
Why is discipline important in parenting, asked Laurie.
Small children are in charge at their homes and the parents have no idea how to deal with them, Dobson said. They've been asked not confront or disappoint, but the Scripture tells us otherwise.
He quoted Hebrews 12:7: "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?"
This describes the need for discipline, Dobson said. "A child feels like he doesn't belong if he challenges the authority at the home and nobody has the courage to confront him or lead him. You damage the child if you don't take charge. Discipline is necessary. ... Discipline leads to righteousness."
Laurie then asked, can people divorce-proof their marriage?
Not in this culture because it is at war with the family, Dobson responded. "But the best glue to hold the family together is commitment ... and this is for life."
Talking about his personal life, Dobson told Laurie he's a Beatles fan. But he acknowledged that they had a horrible impact on society. "But I like their music," he said jokingly.
On what makes him angry, Dobson said when he sees the media and the culture trying to twist and warp the minds of children who are too young to know better.