It seems like all of a sudden, your son has grown up and has stepped out into the world….
Maybe he just graduated high school or college and is getting his first job. Or perhaps he has been working for a while, is renting an apartment, and bought his first car. You invested several years of training to get him to this point. Yet, sometimes you worry about how he will handle himself when life get rough out there. Now that he is on his own, you may be wondering if or how you fit into his life now….
I discovered some encouragement to share with fathers who are empty-nesting.
Jesus provided a fatherly relationship, teaching, and prayer as he trained His earthly sons, the disciples. For a fatherly relationship, Jesus established a connection between Himself and His disciples by declaring in John 14:6-7(ESV), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.” Similar to earthly fathers, Jesus was empty-nesting when He released His sons into the world with new roles: apostles. Before sending His sons out, in Matthew 10:1-23 (ESV), Jesus gave them instructions about the responsibilities and perils of ministry. Before leaving them to return to His Father, in John 17:11-24 (ESV), Jesus prayed for their protection:
Using a little poetic creativity, I imagined the Father looking at His sons, the apostles, and speaking to them this way:
To My 12 Sons
“I send you out as sheep!”*
Be wise, be bold, be keen!
Remember what I taught you,
Remember where you came from,
Remember to whom you belong.
Use My word to heal,
Use My word to teach,
Use My word to make demons flee.
Love one another,
And remember that I love you.
As a father who is empty-nesting, you still have a critical part in your son’s life.
You are the anchor of love, teaching, and prayer for your son. As you maintain your connection to the Father, you, like the Father, maintain your connection to your son. Jesus not only knew He had trained His disciples well for apostleship but He also knew that He would still be with them. Likewise, you can have confidence knowing that you trained your son well and that you are with him too. You are with him every time he remembers and does what you taught him. You are with him every time you pray for him. You are with him every time you tell him you love him. Your son may have left your nest but you are still important to his mark in the world, and, somewhere down road, when he becomes a father.
If you are a father who son has left the nest, how do you maintain your father-son relationship? Follow me on Twitter and share!
Happy Father’s Day!
*Scriptural reference from Matthew 10:16 (ESV).