Dena & I are at freshman orientation for our youngest daughter Chandler. In 2 months we will move her into the dorm and then we’ll drive back to Murfreesboro and to an empty nest. Since the day we had our first daughter, Madison, then to our son, Hunter, & finally to Chandler, we knew this day was coming. Is there a sense of sadness? Yes. Hopelessness? No! We’ve been preparing for this day for 24 years. Here’s how:
1. We’ve never forgotten that our children are the Lord’s & we’ve been stewards of them. The Lord gave us our kids as His gift to us. And what a gift they are! But they are His!
2. We’ve worked to prepare them for adulthood. Dena & I have loved & enjoyed our children at every age. We’ve been careful to remember, though, that they would some day have to put away childish things. So we’ve allowed them to make age appropriate decisions. Thus, as they’ve matured, they’ve received more responsibilities so that they wouldn’t be overwhelmed when they were on their own.
3. Similar to #1 above, we’ve entrusted our children to the Lord. As parents, we’ve failed our kids from time to time. Their Father never has. From time to time our kids have been out of our sight. They’ve never been out of their Father’s sight. We’ve tried to teach our kids well. Their Father is the perfect teacher. If we had not done this, Dena & I would simply stay in the fetal position! In other words, our Lord is full of grace & mercy. And much prayer has given us peace.
4. We’ve kept our marriage a priority. While we’ve been very involved in the lives of our children, Dena & I have worked to keep our marriage strong. Our communication has been very important. Getting a babysitter and having dates has been important. While we’ll miss the kids, we won’t be strangers to each other in an empty nest.
I don’t share these things to say we’ve been perfect. But whether your children are toddlers or teenagers, they will leave the nest. May our Lord grant you wisdom, and He will if you ask, to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.