I just came back from two weeks of traveling with my husband to Indonesia a vacation that was in making for the last year. Almost every anniversary for the last few years we purpose to travel to places that were only a dream before. It was our 46th Wedding Anniversary and God has been exceedingly amazing to us throughout our married life. Lamentations 3: 22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases. His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” There’s life after the nest is empty.
There was once a wedding at Cana where the wine ran out late in the evening. Jesus was at the wedding and the news got to Him that the wine ran out. The Master of Ceremony did not know that Jesus had ordered the servants to draw water as He was about to perform His very first miracle. The Bible says the MC called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone serves the fine wine first, and then the cheap wine after the guests are drunk. But you have saved the fine wine until now!”
The truth is the Master of Ceremony had no idea that Jesus had created the best wine out of water. Instead, he give credit to the groom for saving the best for last. He assumed that it was a deliberate choice by the groom.
So where am I going with this — my friends, the best years of marriage is after the kids have moved on and the nest is empty. Jesus keeps the best wine for the end of our child rearing days. After we have poured and poured into our family and we feel exhausted from the pouring effects of life’s routine …. guess what? Jesus can restore you and give you your best life even if there’s only water in the tap. When you think that life is over … Jesus says, ‘You still have the best wine to taste.’
Before we realize it, the grocery list got shorter because there’s less people in the house to feed. You can now choose QUALITY over quantity. Bedtime has moved earlier than later — there are no teenagers or young people coming and going all hours of the night. Dinner is now just you and your spouse and the biggest decision is, ‘Do we go out or stay in?
It’s called the ‘empty nest’ syndrome. Meaning the last child has left home. When our grown kids make choices that we are not in favor of — don’t feel that you’ve failed. Everyone has their own journey in life. You taught them well when they were little, so they do know right from wrong. Let them go. Your parenting days are over.
We all want the best for our children, BUT we know that once they step into adulthood you cannot tell them how to live. We cannot make decisions for them. All lanes at this stage are single filed. Only adults are on this road.
Job was a perfect and upright man, a man that feared God and hate evil. He had TEN children who enjoyed throwing big parties for their friends. Have you ever asked yourself how can a perfect god-fearing father, an upright man, an elder in the church, a pastor … end up having all TEN children living life on the fast lane?
Our children will not always do what pleases God and us … but they know right from wrong. Stand your ground and do not shift around the godly pillars that your home was built on. Your parenting days are over. God has graciously allowed you to enjoy good health so you can be happy and comfortable.
Start travelling. Do road trips. Take a bus tour. Get on a plane and see another part of God’s beautiful world. Simplify mealtimes. One meal if prepared at home can be good for two nights. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t wait for the phone to ring. Accept texting as the new norm. LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS and you will minimize hurt feelings.
Remember when our kids couldn’t wait to go far away from home to university? Now it’s your turn to travel leaving them to wonder what part of the globe will be your next adventure. Don’t save the best Chinaware for that special occasion…call some friends over and use them. Get dressed up and feel pretty because before long the kids will give your clothes to Goodwill. Keep yourself attractive for you. Take lots of pictures to remind you of the many places you visited. Your best life begins after the nest is empty.
My beloved, God’s wish is for us to prosper and be in good health even as our souls prosper. Laugh – You’ve earned the crown of strength and dignity. God promised you that you will laugh at the days to come … not the days that are passed … the days that are to come. Proverbs 31:25
Love keeps no record of wrongs. Leave them all at the cross. Love never fails. Be the best that you can and keep a pure heart towards all peoples. There’s a crown waiting for us if we do not faint.