Remember all those years wondering if you would ever be able to be consistent in your time of praying and reading your Bible daily without all the fun interruptions of caring for your children? Well, this is it! When your children have soared out of the nest, you are now responsible for every second of your day and you get to plan it with what works best for you. Sounds so selfish, doesn’t it? Your days are designed a little bit different now.
Setting a time to sit in the quiet with just you and your Bible is important. Reading God’s Word is how we come to know who He is, how He thinks and what He wants for our lives. Do you have a certain way that you read your Bible? My goal, notice I said goal! Somedays, I don’t reach my goal, but I strive for it. This is how I read my Bible:
One chapter of Proverbs (the one that corresponds with the day of the month. There are 31 chapters, so I read one a day.)
One chapter of the Psalms
One chapter of the Old Testament
One chapter of the New Testament
One chapter of The Four Gospels (I read through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
I then have a Bible study that I’m usually working through that I will sit down to do sometime during the day. *At the end of this series, I will have a list of some of my favorite Bible studies in the Resource section.
It’s always nice to be involved in a Bible study with others, too. You may have some going on through your church or you can start one with friends. Studying God’s Word with others is always a plus.
Attending church changes a little bit when the nest is empty. It’s a bit quieter. You are no longer getting your kids to their classes and activities or being around the busyness of church life with children and teens. If you are like me, you feel a little out of the loop. This is an important time to have teaching; we are never too old to be taught the amazing things of God. You always want to be learning. If you think you have heard it all and have learned it all, you might be listening to the wrong voice. Also, if the opportunity arises, if you can teach, work in a class or lead a ministry, you will want to do that; you will grow even more and then the opportunity to share….what a blessing!
I do hope you are in a good church that inspires you and encourages you in your walk with Christ. I also hope that you are able to use your gifts in encouraging others in the church as well. If not, you may need to find a new place to worship and serve.
Many years ago, we had joined a small church. It was during a difficult season of our lives and we just wanted to be somewhere that we could sit and listen to God’s Word and be around positive people. We joined this church simply because we had some sweet friends that attended there. Long story short, it became a huge hindrance in our lives. The messages we heard were negative and angry. A majority of the people were angry. We felt like we had stepped into someone else’s space and we were not welcome. We hung on as long as we could and the Lord made a way for us to escape, I mean leave. I’m telling you this story to encourage you to be in a positive church that loves people and preaches and teaches the true gospel of Christ. If you are going somewhere that is negative and the people are unfriendly, you might want to find a place that helps you in your Christian walk. Please note, there has never been a perfect church, simply because people aren’t perfect. You and I aren’t perfect, right? But you do want to be in a God honoring, serious minded, people loving church. Life is too short to be miserable in your church life.
Holy living is just as important now as it was when your children were home in their nest. We should live our lives to honor God, not because someone is watching. You will also want to encourage your spouse in their walk with Christ daily. Don’t take for granted that someone doesn’t need encouragement and inspiration from you.
If you have not reached the empty nest years yet, I have some advice for you:
Find your time to spend time alone with God each day.
Teach your children to do the same.
Get in to God’s Word, like really get into His Word and study. Become a student of the many stories and lessons in your Bible. Apply them to your life.
Be in a good church that teaches God’s Word and loves people and shares the gospel.
Be around godly people that inspire and encourage you.
Strive to live a life that honors and glorifies God.
Know what you believe and why.
Make sure your children understand. Don’t leave it to others to teach them. You teach them. As they get older, there will be plenty of people that will try their best to teach them different and convince them that they have been taught wrong. You want those roots to go deep!
Share the amazing grace of Christ with others.
What a beautiful time to serve God; in the child raising years and the empty nest years!
To see the other posts in this series you can click here to go to that page.