The Christian Parenting Podcast

February 13, 2024

Discipling through the empty nest: a heartfelt journey with Pamela Henkleman

As we wrap up our discipleship series, today's episode takes us into the heartfelt world of parenting adult children. I'm joined by Pamela Henkleman, a beacon of wisdom for mid-life moms, to explore this unique stage of our parenting journey.

In our conversation, Pamela offers some incredible insights:

  • Navigating the empty nest: Understanding the transition from full house to empty nest and what this means for our daily lives.
  • Discipling adult children: How Pamela discipled her own children, reflections on what she'd do differently, and the evolution of parenting styles as children grow into adulthood.
  • Facing the prodigal reality: Addressing the heartache and hope when children stray from their faith, despite our best efforts.
  • The importance of unconditional love: Emphasizing love over judgment and meeting our children where they are with humility and tenderness.
  • Embracing our role: Recognizing that while we guide and disciple, perfection is not the goal – God is the perfect parent, intricately involved in our and our children's stories.

Pamela reminds us of a powerful perspective that I believe we all need to hear:

“Help me not to judge my kids for where they are at. Judging them is not my job, my job is to love them, help me to love. Humility and tenderness go a long way.”

This quote encapsulates the essence of today's discussion and serves as a gentle reminder of our role as parents, no matter the age of our children. This episode is not just for those of us approaching or navigating the empty nest phase; it's a timeless reminder of the enduring nature of parental love.

Don't forget, our Discipleship Simplified guide is here to support you at every stage of your family's faith journey!

Connect With Pamela online at 

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Grab the CP Discipleship Simplified guide

The Christian Parenting Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual guidance to help you grow into the perfectly imperfect parent you want to be visit

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About The Christian Parenting Podcast

As believing parents, we know how important it is to raise our kids with love and intentionality. We want to give our kids a full picture of God’s love for them every day! But some days, it’s really hard! We are stretched thin, tired, and often feel unequipped. The Christian Parenting Podcast gives parents the space and resources to set aside perfection and grow into the perfectly imperfect parents God made them to be.

Join host Steph Thurling and her guests as they discuss practical tips and spiritual guidance for your parenting journey.

About Steph Thurling

Steph Thurling is Executive Director of Christian Parenting and host of The Christian Parenting Podcast.

Steph has her master’s in youth, family, and culture from Fuller Theological Seminary and has a background in youth and children’s ministry. She is co-author of Raising Prayerful Kids, a book that shares easy, life-giving, and fun ways to teach kids to pray. She loves helping families grow closer to each other and to God through meaningful experiences and conversations. Steph is a frequent speaker at churches and mom groups and is known for her relatable stories, practical ideas, and gentle encouragement.

Steph lives in Minnesota with her husband and three amazing and hilarious kids. When she is not hanging out with her family, you can probably find her on a walk with a friend, organizing things that won’t stay organized, or somewhere cozy reading a book.


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