Some of you are gone. You’re clicking out because that one-liner just sounds harsh. However, a few of you want to know more.
We, many times, but not always, find that the husbands are looking forward to an empty nest because he craves a return to married life with the wife of his youth. At the same time, most often, the wives are sending their youngest child off with some sense of angst, and a momma heart fully grieving a seemingly lost role.
So, just to be clear, please read and understand that we absolutely love our two sons. We did then, and we do now. Each of our men know this to be true, and they know we’re really proud of who they are becoming without our day to day parenting.
We’re advisors who offer a lifetime retainer.
The one liner, “it took us about 30 minutes to adjust…” is actually the best indicator of our feelings for our sons. Feeling ready, as husband and wife, for their departure each two years apart, describes our delight in the fulfillment of our original goal for parenting.
For you see, once we became parents of sons, we determined to raise them into manhood. We knew we would only have a few short years to prepare them, teach, coach and invest in their lives under our roof. And we wholeheartedly set our sights on sending them out into the world after high school graduation.
“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.””
Mark 10:7-9 NIV
Being transparent here, we don’t even pretend to think we parented perfectly. In some areas we shined, and in others we bombed. Nor did we always live out our marriage vows well in front of our young men. Most of all, we often felt completely inadequate by the incredible responsibility of helping two young humans to fly safely and successfully away from us and into their own lives.
Yet, with much prayer, encouragement from our faith community, and coaching from our own parents, we did it.
“so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.”
Psalms 78:6-7 NIV
Our sons did it!
We fulfilled our overarching goal of raising both sons from little boys into manhood. With plenty of life experiences, hurdles, and victories of their own, each son is developing his own play book, each one with his wife. They have their own nest. It feels really good to know we’ve passed the baton to the next generation.
We’re so extremely proud of who they are, and now pray daily for the fulfillment of God’s better goals for each one, for their marriage, and for the next generations.
A long time ago, a pastor told us that we don’t become empty nesters when our children fly away, we become Free Birds. And that’s been true for us. We set our sights on the next chapter.
Honestly, as our Free Bird chapter drew near, my dear man and I were forced to take an raw real assessment of our marital relationship. It suffered greatly from neglect, misappropriated expectations, and pent up resentment. We had to make a decision to stop spinning, stop delegating duties, and stop being really effective business partners.
We both craved the intimacy of husband and wife relationship. But, it was obvious, it was going to take some hard work, humility, forgiveness, and time.
We did it! We’re Free Birds.
They have their own nests.
And God is doing a new thing in all of us for the glory of His name, and for the generations of His people.
Lots of love, encouragement, and hugs from the fun couple, until next time,
Randy and Lisa
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