In the previous two posts, I have suggested that you can prepare for the empty nest by making daily investments in your marriage, by making your home a joyful place and by preparing your children to leave home.
Today, I submit to you that the greatest step in preparing for the empty nest is to release your children into the hands of God!
Truth is, we do not own our children. They were created by God and belong to Him. Parenting is His work, not ours. Grace to raise our children and send them out only comes from the God of all grace (1 Peter 5:10). Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward (Psalm 127:3). For you (God) formed my inward parts; you (God) knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14a).
Since this is true, He knows what is best for our children. Therefore, as they go from the “crib to college” or the “Johnny-Jump-Up to a job,” your goal is to . . .
- Teach the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), live out the gospel, and teach your children how to live out the gospel. Our prayer was always, “Lord, may (name) come to know you as personal Lord and Savior at the earliest possible moment/age.” (10 Ideas For Living Out the Gospel In Your Home)
- Make Christ preeminent in your home as you live out the Christ-life (Romans 6-8; Philippians 1:21; Colossians 1:15-18).
- Live with your sights set on the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) and eternity (John 14:1-3) not the world’s values.
- Teach your children to love God’s Word, to know God’s Word, to speak God’s Word and to apply God’s Word (Psalm 119). A great way to do that is through the Inductive Bible Study.
- Teach them to follow Christ all the days of their life (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 14:26; Philippians 1:21; 1 Peter 2:21)
- Give your children the best gift . . . parents who Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37).
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (3 John 4). If our children have left home and are following Christ, give Him praise, for it is all of His grace. Enjoy your empty nest and fill it with much love and prayer together.
If your child has left home and is not walking with the Lord, certainly that will be a burden to your heart, but our sovereign God can do greater things than we can imagine. Make your empty nest a place of prayer and submission to the omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence of God. Lean hard into His promises. Perhaps this will encourage you: Comfort For Weary Parents of Troubled Children
May you all find comfort and encouragement in the Truth as you face or live in the empty nest of parenting. Wherever you are and wherever your children are, God is there. Rest and rejoice in Him (Isaiah 41:10; Philippians 4:6-8). Husbands, enjoy the wife of your youth (Proverbs 5:18). Release your children to God.
From a pastor’s heart,