Reflections by Dr. Teston
A Fellowship Christian School Blog


Not On Our Watch

Dear Fellowship Family, 

Welcome to the new Friday Reflections series, Not On Our Watch

A couple of months ago, I felt God whisper this phrase to me. While I had certainly heard the phrase before, this time it felt almost like a rallying cry. It sparked a curiosity in me, so I decided to look into the author and origin of the expression. While difficult to pinpoint, a quick Google search revealed that the phrase is assumed to be nautical and was used by sailors to indicate they would not allow anything unfavorable to occur during their watch rotation. As they monitored conditions, sailors were responsible for tracking weather, direction, water depth, speed, and proximity to land, icebergs, and other vessels. This was no small task, and the expression was presumably used to communicate to fellow sailors that the watchman would not be caught off-guard or unaware of what they may face. In other words, it was a comforting assurance that the sailor would be alert, informed, focused, and engaged, doing all that was within their control to protect their ship and shipmates. To me, the sailors on watch do not sound all that dissimilar to us as parents. 

Fellowship community, I cannot tell you enough how it delights my heart to partner with you on your parenting journey. As a parent to three adult children and a grandparent to 9 (#10 arriving in the spring), I recognize the tremendous battles you face as you seek to raise godly children in today’s cultural challenges. I applaud you for the sacrifices and investment you are making to provide them with a Christian education and a firm foundation of faith. My goal for the Not On Our Watch series is to link arms with you and, hopefully, provide encouragement regarding some of the potential challenges your children may be forced to navigate. 

As part of this series, we will delve into the following topics: 

  • Identity: Who God says they are versus who the world says they are
  • Acceptance and Boundaries: Pleasing God versus pleasing others and how to stay firm when it feels like you’re the only one
  • Influence: Being selective with their sphere of influence
  • Conflict: How to navigate it with love
  • Adversity: Facing it with grace, humility, and confidence
  • Choices and Consequences: How to help them think through choices and factor in consequences


For this first week, though, I want to share some words of wisdom and encouragement that were shared with me along my parenting journey:

  • You were made for this. God chose you to parent the children He has given you. He will equip you to love, nurture, and guide them.
  • Your children's choices are their own. Their behavior and sin do not define you as a parent or as a believer.
  • Your role as a parent may feel frustrating and thankless at times, but remember that your ministry to your family is your first priority as a Jesus follower.

My prayer is that this series fortifies you in your walk, reminding you that you are not alone. You have an entire community here at Fellowship to not only encourage, support, and love you as you navigate both calm and rough waters, but to link arms with you in saying, "Satan will not get a foothold in our family with our children. Not on our watch!" And no matter how high the waves get or strong the wind blows, may we always rejoice in the reassurance that in God we have an Anchor for our soul. 

Honored to be on watch with you, 

Dr. Kathryn M. Teston

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       Dr. Kathryn M. Teston