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Empty Nest

"For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. " Genesis 2:14

"I love it!" "It took all of 15 minutes to get over it!" "If we had known how much fun grandchildren were going to be, we would have had them first!" "The happiest moments are when we can see the headlights and then the tail lights of our children's car, coming and going!"

These are just a few of the many comments people make about "life after children." They are meant to be comical and most are, but the "empty nest" syndrome is something all families with children face and often with mixed emotions. We joke about it but we also realize the pain that is associated with it.

I remember well the tears that fell when we left Alex at college for the first time. The tears fell again three years later when Travis left for college. Now that we have taken Cynthia to college and Alex has married, the truth hits home. The cord is broken. For 22 years we've had at least one child in the house. Now, things will never be the same again. Where did the time go? The tears continue to fall!

Let me urge all of our young families with children and those who are anticipating families in the future to plan now for that day when the nest will be empty. It will come quicker than you think.

Send them out with the right equipment — the right memories:

Memory one: of Godly parents — not perfect parents, but parents who tried hard to bring them up in the knowledge and understanding of the Lord...Eph. 6:1-4.

Memory two: of parents who loved them — "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Godly parents would gladly give their life for that of their children because they love them that much...John 15:13.

Memory three: of parents who loved each other — the best example of love that can be given to your children is the expression of your love for each other...Eph. 5.

Memory four: of parents who spent time with them — no career, no promotion, no raise in pay, no social activity, no form of personal entertainment should ever take the place of time spent with your family. Money cannot buy it, excitement cannot replace it but eternity will surely reward it...Eccl. 2:11.

Memory five: of parents who sought to develop them in all areas of growth...mentally, physically, spiritually and socially — parents that realize that it takes all four to make a person complete...Luke 2:52.

Yes, there is sadness associated with our children leaving the nest, but there is also much joy. You see, God planned it this way and it is the best thing for all of us. God's children grow up and leave our nest to build nest of their own. Give them the tools they need to build the best nests possible!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward