The Christian Broadcasting Network

Related Links

Order your copy of Cecil Murphey's, The God Who Pursues

Other books by Cecil Murphey on Shop CBN

Cecil Murphey's Web site

More Inspirational Teaching on the Spiritual Life Channel

CBN Teaching Sheets


My Parenting Failures

By Cecil Murphey
Guest Writer On Christmas Eve, 1990, I learned an invaluable lesson about parenting. Two years earlier, we had moved away from our grown children. During that time away from them, I not only missed them, but I often thought of things I had done or not done during their growing-up years. Mostly, I thought of the ways I had failed them.

I hadn't always been physically available; I was busy making a living and staying on the go. There were times when I could have hugged my three kids more, listened more attentively, or just hung out with them.

I thought about that because I had been struggling over that very issue with my own dad. He was the typically distant father, and he was also an alcoholic. I had unconsciously stored up a lot of anger toward him. A decade after he died, I faced the pain, but it still took me a long time to forgive him.

After I resolved my own father issues, I thought about my three children. After I died, would they have to struggle over forgiving me? I decided I wanted them to be able to talk to me and forgive me while I was still alive.

For several days I had prayed for guidance. It wasn't going to be easy to say to my grown children, "Forgive me for failing you." I wanted to be prepared to open my heart and hear their accusations.

On Christmas Eve before we opened our presents, I cleared my throat and said, "I've failed you in many ways." I told them of my struggle to forgive my dad. "I don't want you to have to go through that. Whatever I've done and I know I've failed many ways please forgive me."

As I spoke, I particularly thought of Cecile, our middle child. She, like me, had been the rebel of the family. I had wept and prayed for her more than any of the others. When I finished, I closed my eyes and waited for their outbursts of pain and despair.

"I remember that no matter what I did," Cecile said after a long silence, "you always loved me." Tears streamed down her cheeks.

The other two said they knew I loved them; they had nothing to forgive.

I learned an invaluable lesson that night. I had focused on my failures and all the things I did wrong; my children focused on my love for them and what I did right. My children knew I loved them and that knowledge enabled them to forgive any of my mistakes when they happened, rather than letting them build up over the years.

What was the lesson I learned? I did my best parenting by the way I lived and not by the mistakes I had made.

Order your copy of Cecil Murphey's, The God Who Pursues

Other books by Cecil Murphey on Shop CBN

Cecil Murphey's Web site

Cecil MurpheyCecil Murphey has authored and co-authored more than 90 books in such wide-ranging fields as health and fitness, motivation, travel, business, and inspiration. Some of those books have included ghostwritten autobiographies for singer B.J. Thomas, Franklin Graham, pianist Dino Karsanakas, Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, ultra-marathon runner Stan Cottrell, and Dr. Ben Carson of Johns Hopkins Hospital. You can learn more about him at



  • Translate
  • Print Page

Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.

Do You Know Jesus
Grow In Your Faith

Need Prayer?

Call 1-800-700-7000
Email your prayer request

Email iconSign up for E-mail Updates Full List