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What to Do Next When Your Nest is Empty?

The term empty nest began in the middle of the 1900’s. When parents aren’t able to move on after their children start college or move out on their own, doctors refer to this condition as the “empty nest syndrome.” When children are born, parents make a series of sacrifices to raise their offspring to the best of their abilities. However, once a home is vacant, it’s hard to transition to your next phase in life.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children, Hosea 4:6.

One Old Testament prophet blames a lack of vision for an individual who begins to self-destruct. One of the reasons Jesus left his followers with a great commission in Acts 1:8-9 was to provide a sense of direction in life. Rather than guess or speculate, the Great Commission continues to be fulfilled today through missionaries sent to the ends of the earth.

Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. 13 I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward, Philippians 3:12-14.

As for empty nesters, my home is quiet for the first time in 24 years. With my two youngest children now off at college, I need to spend time in prayer to figure out what God wants me and my wife to do next. Once you complete honey do lists at home, parents with empty nests must learn to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25, so that God’s will for your life will be fulfilled.

by Jay Mankus

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