Back in 1975 James Dobson declared:

“If I could write a prescription for the women of the world, it would provide each one of them with a healthy dose of self-esteem and personal worth (taken three times a day until the symptoms disappear). I have no doubt that this is their greatest need.”

Dobson’s message promoting self-esteem continues as long as his books are reprinted and as long as he has not publicly repented for his promotion of self-esteem.

In various letters from his correspondence department, there seems to be an attempt to make his teachings on self-esteem sound more biblical.

Now, however, Dobson is extending his prescription to teen-age girls with his teen girl magazine Brio, advertised on the back of his “Dear Friend” promotional letter. The Brio magazine promo says:

“Boost Your Daughter’s Walk with God. What do faith, fashion and fun have in common? Brio magazine! It’s a monthly dose of positive affirmation that empowers teen girls 13 and up to make godly choices.” (Emphasis in original.)

So, now girls need a “monthly dose of positive affirmation” to empower them “to make godly choices.” Hmmm! Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Maybe Dobson could learn from leaders of the popular DARE program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), who have finally admitted that their approach, which included building self-esteem to empower children to say no to drugs, has failed.

Appealing to the flesh to promote spiritual growth only enhances the flesh and deceives people. If positive affirmations are supposed to “empower” teenage girls “to make godly choices,” what might be the magazine’s motivating reasons that would cause them to want “to make godly choices”—personal benefit or obedience to God just because He is God? Much of what is called values education appeals to the flesh rather than to the spirit. In reference to values education, someone asked us the other day, “What happened to the simplicity of ‘Thus saith the Lord’?”

(See information about our book James Dobson’s Gospel of Self-Esteem & Psychology.)

PAL V9N3 (May-June 2001)