I have to be honest. I was a reluctant empty-nester. Cheryl and I love our boys and them being at home was one of our greatest joys in life. Walking in the door and being handed a football to throw or a soccer ball to kick was often the best part of my day.
We were intentional as parents and in our marriage, however, so now we are reaping the reward of that intentionality. We raised our boys to be independent and they are doing that well. They still “need” us, but they aren’t dependent on us. At the same time, we protected our relationship, so we truly enjoy our time together…always have…still do.
As hard as it’s been for me to see my boys leave home, I’m now learning to adjust to and actually enjoy being an empty-nester.
Here are 5 joys of being an empty-nester:
Spontaneous living – Cheryl and I can now change plans on a dime. Someone asks us to dinner, but they are leaving “now”…no problem. Suddenly deciding to go out of town for the weekend…why not?
More time for ministry – We are busier in ministry than ever before. Cheryl ministers to multiple women in the church and my ministry in and outside my home church continues to grow. We love serving others and now we have time to do it.
Planned chaos – Cheryl and I live a crazy life, but we have the freedom within that craziness to adjust our schedule as we see fit. When children are in the house, much of your schedule is dictated by their activities. Now, we decide what is going to control our time. We can never anticipate what’s going to happen, but we have the freedom to adjust to it as we choose.
Rekindled relationship – Cheryl and I have always loved our life together. As I said, we continued to date throughout our parenting days, so our relationship remained strong. Now, we are in a new season in our relationship. It’s a good season. We love our time together.
Unbridled future – We keep saying to each other that we can do anything we want. We are free to walk by faith as God leads. It’s a very good feeling. Let’s do it God! What’s next?
Let me be clear, if you have children at home, enjoy them now. You’ll miss them, but if you continue to work on your relationship, and you prepare your children to stand on their own, you’ll one day get to enjoy the blessings of being a joyful empty-nester.
Any empty-nesters out there? What do you like about this season of life?