From Jim Williams
It has been a little over three weeks since Julie and I officially became “empty nesters.” We were busy running from Bloomington to West Lafayette, but both kids are now settled and doing well. Many have asked us how it is without kids in the house. To answer honestly, I don’t know yet. It is quiet, there are certainly less dishes and laundry, and the house has remained clean for longer stretches. But there also is a sense of loss; friends of Ryan or Emma coming through the front door unannounced, the lack of day-to-day interaction with the kids, and simply walking past bedrooms that are not quite as full of life.
It is certainly a natural part of life as children grow into adults and our relationships with one another evolve. Until recently, I had not given much thought to how different these relationships might be, especially with both kids at college. There will certainly be no lack of love, support, understanding and guidance, but it will take flexibility, dedication, and daily effort to maintain these relationships from afar.
And what about our relationship with Christ? He certainly made the ultimate commitment to us by his life on earth, death on the cross, and resurrection to bring us into relationship with God. How do we build this relationship? By making Christ the center of our daily lives and by looking for ways to nurture it. How do we nurture this relationship? Through prayer, reading of the scripture, and being attentive to living the life that God has intended for us. I enjoyed reading this passage in Paul’s letter to the Colossians which speaks to this relationship:
Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him. Keep you roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving (Chapter 2, verse 6-7).
I am hopeful that one advantage of being an empty nester will include having more time to invest and build on this relationship with Christ in many different ways. Let us all go out with God as our guide, build relationships with others, and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
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