The One Surprising Thing My Daughter Remembered Most About My Parenting

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Some years ago, I sat with my daughter (my youngest) at a wonderful father/daughter banquet at our church. Someone at the table asked Angela what I’d done that made the biggest impression on her. I had no idea what she would say, but of course I hoped for something spectacular!

I’ll never forget what my daughter shared because it was so powerful to me.

She said, “I remember one time when dad was harsh with me. Then a few minutes later he came back into my room, and he cried and asked my forgiveness. I’ve never forgotten that.”

That’s what Angie remembered as having the most impact on her—something I had actually done wrong, and then asked her forgiveness for! I thought, Isn’t that interesting? It shows how being a good example isn’t limited to doing great and magnificent things. Sometimes it’s when we admit we did wrong things.

This is God’s grace—He can redeem even our failures! (Provided we recognize and confess them to our children.) Saying, “I’m sorry, please forgive me,” may teach your children more than you would have by never failing, and far more than pretending you never fail.

How humbling and also encouraging to know that parents who admit their shortcomings don’t lose their children’s trust. They gain it.  


Following are some parenting books I would recommend on parenting: Gospel Powered Parenting by Bill P. Farley, Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp (I read Tripp’s book when our girls were young, and I think it’s great), and What the Bible Says About Parenting by John MacArthur.

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Randy Alcorn
Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (www.epm.org), a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching principles of God’s Word and assisting the church in ministering to the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled, and unsupported people around the world. Before starting EPM in 1990, Randy served as a pastor for fourteen years. He is a New York Times best-selling author of over fifty books, including Heaven (over one million sold), The Treasure Principle (over two million sold), If God Is Good, Happiness, and the award-winning novel Safely Home. His books sold exceed ten million copies and have been translated into over seventy languages.

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