Empty Nest Syndrome – Is it Biblical?

I’ve been giving my blog lots of thought and prayer over the last week as I seek to fine tune what my focus should be.  I keep coming back to being an “Empty Nester” with the struggles, and joys, that occur during that time of transition.

What God has shown me in the last year is that my nest has never actually been, or ever should be, empty.  I don’t see the thought of abiding in Christ and the thought of having “empty nest syndrome” being in line with each other.  Basically, I don’t see being an “Empty Nester” as a biblical principle.

Before you get upset with me, yes, I do believe that when our children leave our home to go to college or get married we have a myriad of emotions that we must learn to give to the Lord.  But it seems that we can also fall into a myriad of sin issues if we allow those emotions to take our eyes off Christ.

I’ll give you the term “Empty Nest” as defined by the time of life when one’s children have grown up and left home to live their own adult lives.  It is more difficult for me to accept Empty Nest Syndrome because it is the attempt by psychologists to label the feelings a parent may have during this time.  Why do our feelings need to be labeled into a disorder?  Can’t a parent miss the presence of their children without it developing into a mental illness of sorts?

As a believer, I am to look at everything through the lens of scripture.  That is what I’m trying to do here.  If I am truly abiding in Christ, that doesn’t mean I won’t ever miss one of my sons.  I already miss my oldest as the holidays have approached and I remember years of him being in my own home, experiencing what we are now doing without him here.  But if my eyes are on Christ, I can learn to embrace those feelings and accept this time of life without allowing it to plunge me into despair.

I have also heard others speak of the “Empty Nest” as a sort of time when a mother sits around with so much time on her hands that she is twiddling her thumbs all day. That is about as false as a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) who sits around eating bon-bons while her children go unattended around her.

Should my nest ever REALLY be empty?  Shouldn’t I be reaching out in hospitality to the body of Christ?  Mentoring those younger women as Titus 2 teaches?  Hosting an exchange student for a semester?  And specifically in my own case, using my time to care for one or both of my parents as they have become less able to care for themselves?

I haven’t been able to come up with a label for this time of my life that fits what I feel God desires for me according to scripture, but I do want my blog to center around this time of transition.  It may be that I focus more on caring for aging parents, mainly because that is the direction the Lord has taken me in the last year.  So not only is God stretching me as a Christian woman, but He is stretching me in regard to the direction my blog takes and how He desires it to minister to others.  Abiding in Christ is always our focus, but each season brings new challenges, doesn’t it?

What challenges are you facing?  Is God stretching you? Please comment below if there is something specific I can address in a future blog post.

 

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