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5 Joys of Being an Empty-Nester

I have to be honest. I was a reluctant empty-nester. Cheryl and I love our boys, and them being at home was one of our greatest joys in life. Walking in the door and being handed a football to throw or a soccer ball to kick was often the best part of my day.

Thankfully, we were intentional as parents and in our marriage. Now, we are reaping the reward of that intentionality. We raised our boys to be independent and they are doing it well. They still “need” us, but they aren’t dependent on us.

At the same time, we protected our relationship, so we truly enjoy our time together—always have—still do.

As hard as it was for me to see our boys leave home, I’m now learning to adjust to and actually enjoy being an empty-nester.

This is written to those who still have children at home and may be dreading the day they leave. I’d encourage you to build your family with this day in mind. One day they will and it will be OK.

In fact—it’s kind of fun.

Here are five joys of being an empty-nester:

Spontaneous living—Cheryl and I can now change plans on a dime. Someone asks us to dinner, but they are leaving “now”—no problem. Suddenly deciding to go out of town for a few days—why not? Late night walk around the block—yea!

More time for ministry—We are busier in ministry than ever before. Cheryl ministers to multiple women in the church, leads Bible studies and assists me on my ministry. And my ministry in and outside my home church has never been busier. We love serving others and now we have more time to do it.

Planned chaos—Cheryl and I live a crazy life. When the boys were home we tried to do dinner every night. Now there may be weeks we aren’t home and nights, but we have the freedom within craziness to adjust our schedule as we see fit. When children are in the house, much of your schedule is dictated by their activities. Now, we decide what is going to control our time. We can never anticipate what’s going to happen, but we have the freedom to adjust to it as we choose.

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Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.