fbpx

How a Troubled Childhood Led Dr. Phil to the Lord

Photo from Dr. Phil’s Instagram

How a Troubled Childhood Led Dr. Phil to the Lord

By Movieguide® Contributor 

TV host and author Dr. Phil McGraw recently shared how he came to the Lord as a child despite growing up in what he called an often “violent and chaotic” home. 

“[U]nfortunately, my father succumbed to alcoholism and…I don’t know if there’s a good alcoholic, but he was a bad alcoholic,” McGraw told Erick Stakelbeck on the PRAISE ON TBN show. 

McGraw said that while growing up in such an unstable home could have led him down a similar path of alcoholism and even drug abuse, it instead caused him to seek answers. 

“So you get to where you’re very self-sufficient, and you start looking for how can I make sense out of all this,” he said. “Fortunately, that’s when I found the Lord. That’s when I found Jesus Christ, which gave me a real centering in my life.” 

“I remember it like it was yesterday because that was a big step for me at 13 years old because I didn’t have a lot of leadership at that point in my family because my dad had taken a really bad turn,” Dr. Phil recalled. His family was attending Village Baptist Church in Oklahoma City at the time. 

His decision to follow Christ was not a blind leap of faith and didn’t come without questions.  

“I had to really think this through, and I had to make a decision…‘Is this what I really believe, and am I going to really take this step of faith,’” McGraw told Robert Morris on TBN. 

He credits the deepening of his faith to the time he spent with the minister of his church. 

“I decided I’m gonna read the Bible, and so I did that, and then I started arguing with the pastor,” the TV personality remembered. “‘Why do I need to come here every week? I’ve read the Bible. I’ve heard what you have to say. What am I coming back here for?’” 

He received a sharp rebuke, which he says helped him grow in his relationship with the Lord. 

“[F]inally he said, ‘You need to come because this is somewhere you can shut up and listen; you need to have some quiet time with the Lord,” he said. 

“He said, ‘You just need to submit.’ And so I did and it was a good thing I did, because I needed that time, you know, to come and spend quiet time,” Dr. Phil went on to say. “And it was a real formative time for me in my journey.” 

The father of two said that he strived to pass on his faith to his children as they were growing up. 

“As a Christian, I have raised my family based on the core teachings that I received growing up, and I always knew that the family is so important, and it’s absolutely biblical that the family is the future. The family is everything to humankind and keeping everything together,” McGraw said. 

Dr. Phil announced early last year that he was ending the 21-year run of his show of the same name.   

“I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television,” Dr. Phil said, per Entertainment Weekly. “With this show, we have helped thousands of guests and millions of viewers through everything from addiction and marriage to mental wellness and raising children. This has been an incredible chapter of my life and career, but while I’m moving on from daytime, there is so much more I wish to do.” 

The famed psychologist is launching his own television network, Merit Street Media, in large part “to help restore a clarity of purpose as well as our core values.” 

Movieguide® previously reported on the new network that is to launch April 2: 

According to Variety, “The daytime-TV legend, who announced a month ago that he planned to debut a TV network with a new primetime show that he would lead, is teaming up with Trinity Broadcasting Network, a large religious broadcaster that is a significant owner of TV stations. McGraw’s company, Merit Street Media, expects to distribute its new lineup of programming via cable, satellite and broadcast stations, and has secured ‘commitments already exceeding 65 million television homes’…Trinity’s programming is available on satellite distributors such as DirecTV and Dish and cable systems owned by Charter and Altice, among others.” 

“We are thrilled to embark on this groundbreaking journey by creating a network that is not only widely accessible but also a hub for diverse, engaging content,” Merit Street Media COO Hoel Cheatwood said in a statement. “With our commitment to delivering high-quality programming across multiple platforms, we anticipate Merit Street will be a trailblazer among networks.” 

Dr. Phil added, “As always, the audience will dictate our content because they are our content, and I want my viewer’s help in building Merit Street. I continue my pledge to help individuals, couples, and families have the tough conversations, face the hard realities, and get real answers for the most positive and effective outcome.” 

4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.