This One Parenting Point Caught Me Off Guard & What I Did About It

We have faith, but sometimes Christians need practical advice, especially concerning parenting, don’t they? I’m raising two hands here!

My husband and I claim three kiddos in our house. (And sometimes those kiddos claim us.) Trust me – we need practical Christian parenting advice often.

I awoke one morning to find a surprise: 3 TEENAGERS! Wasn’t it just yesterday that our littles played with tractors in the mud and doddled with dolls?

Outta nowhere, life changes. With kids, too.

Parenting Teenagers

Three teens now roam the halls of our house, finding their beautiful way through life and in faith, tossing “smarter than thou” attitudes here and there from time to time, grabbing keys as they celebrate 16, and waxing all googly-eyed as they dive into the dating scene.

I sat wide-eyed a bit as these parenting tornadoes hit. I should have expected them, I guess. And maybe part of me did.

For good parenting’s sake, Tony and I tossed little seeds of preparation to the kids over the years. I highly recommend it.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sighed in relief when realizing a tossed seed is bearing fruit in front of my eyes. Dare I doubt Jesus?!

Over the years, we read books and gleaned wisdom. (Keep watch below for a listing of some of our favorites.) I ooh’d and aah’d, highlighted, drooled, and verged on committing the sin of dog-earing a book page. Much of the advice was and is THAT good.

But one parenting question lingered. It caught me off guard. sign-up form






Parenting Material with the Wrong Fit

What if the material doesn’t fit the flow of a family? We had yet to slide into our “perfect glove.”

Much of the dating content leaned conservative – quite conservative. It housed good material, and we used portions, but the flavor of our family tends to run a little more leanient than much of what we read. So what’s a parent to do when that point catches them off guard?

How about freak out?

Yeah, okay, don’t go that route. Tears and head-banging await. A much better path waits.

Why not lean on the Lord? As I did this, I scirbbled notes.

Those notes formed into an article and found their way to

Daughters and Dating

Will you help me get 5 Ways to Help Daughters Prepare for Dating into the hands of those who will glean from it?

Read 5 Ways to Help Daughters Prepare for Dating #christianparenting #parenting #dating Click To Tweet

Forward this post to a friend. Share the article from my FB page, Pinterest, or directly from’s page.

And while we’re at it, below are several helpful parenting resources – books, kits, and a website. Enjoy!

Christian Parenting Books & Resources

Linking with other Jesus lovers and writers here: #chasingcommunity, #heartencouragementThursday, #faithonfire

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  1. I may not be a parent yet, but some of what you have said already struck a chord with me, Kristi. Life doesn’t always go neatly as planned and although reading some self-help material to aid you in marriage and parenting can be helpful, it never seems to take into account the complexities of life or even the fact that doing it the author’s way isn’t synonymous with doing things the way God has called you to live your life.

    I can only imagine the daunting decisions that come with your teen’s desire to date, but I know how vital that time and those decisions are since my husband and I have already talked about what to do in that scenario with us somewhere sandwiched in the middle of the debate. Oh, and on another note, I absolutely love the header of your blog, Kristi! Many blessings to your ministry. <3

    1. Wouldn’t it be “perfect” if life flowed just the way we wanted? My flesh pushes for that. But maybe not. Like you said, it’s likely not Jesus’ way. It’s a joy to visit here with you, Sarah. And funny enough, I LOVED your beautiful blog as well.

  2. Ah … now where we’re you some 25 years ago?!


    Now I sit back and smile as my youngest navigates the teen years with her kiddos.

    And yes, I pray, too.

  3. We’re into the teen routine now, but I do remember it hit me like a freight train, and there was a time of mourning over the change in our home. Now we’ve got two in their twenties and two who are still teens, and the best part of the story is that they still have fun when they get together and they still love God, us and each other.

  4. Thanks for this sweet wisdom, Kristi. Parenting is not a “Follow A, B, and then C” enterprise, is it? We tend to be not as strick on some issues as other parents either. (I was plenty strick before age 10, but then it seems like an older teen needs to learn to navigate some things to be prepared for the world out there…) I’m so glad you wrote that parenting piece on Crosswalk. Off to see it now!