I am often asked if sending our youngest daughter off to college and being left with an empty nest was difficult for me. My answer is always an emphatic, “Heck, no!” To be honest, I was elated when we packed up the majority of her worldly possessions in the back of my husband’s truck and dropped her off at college. Before you begin to think that I am some sort of a horrible mother, let me explain.

Are You Investing In Your Marriage?

My husband and I knew this day would come and we have been preparing for it for years. Not unlike a savings account, we began making small deposits into our marriage over the years. We knew that there would be a day when it would be just the two of us left in the nest and wanted to make sure we would have a good return on what we put into our marriage over the years. We put God first, then each other, then the girls. We parented from a biblical view and managed to get all four of them to adulthood without any major damage and with a large amount of independence. When the day came for our last fledgling to fly, we were prepared.

What you do today will affect the way you react to your own empty nest. It’s all about the level of investment you are making in your marriage today. If all of your focus is centered on your kids and their soccer games, homework and social life, you are grossly missing the marriage mark. Your focus needs to be on both your marriage and your children.

Making Moments For Each Other Amidst The Chaos

Time is limited and, as busy parents, it can seem nearly impossible to get everything accomplished. However, it is imperative that you set aside blocks of time to spend with your spouse alone. When it comes to scheduling time alone with each other, dating each other should have a higher priority than your daughter’s dance class or son’s baseball practice.

When kids are young and you are faced with changing diapers, doing endless laundry and trying not to burn dinner, dates may be limited to one hour at a coffee shop while your next door neighbor watches the kids once they are all in bed. This type of investment may be small, but is it vital to your marriage. As your children get older, they will see that date nights are important because it is being modeled for them consistently. One-hour coffee dates will eventually turn into long dinners as your kids get older. If funds are limited, get creative. The internet is full of inexpensive date night and babysitting ideas.

Not only are date nights important, so are weekend getaways. This offers an even bigger investment into your marriage. Marriage retreats or an overnight stay at a B&B are great ways to connect as a couple. But perhaps the biggest investment into your marriage is week-long vacations without the kids. Second honeymoons can be very effective in fostering deep connections with your spouse while offering you a little downtime from being a parent. Even a week away once every five years can really build up your marriage account.

Reaping The Benefits Of An Invested Marriage

By investing quality time between you and your spouse, you can be assured that when the time comes for your last fledgling to leave the nest, you’ll be prepared. Sure, you may still feel a little twinge of regret that the child-rearing years are over, but you’ll know that you have made wise investments into your marriage. You won’t have to worry that once the children are gone, you and your spouse will be strangers sharing a house. Instead, you’ll be able to embrace this stage of life.

Now that all of our chicks have flown the coop, we find ourselves acting like newlyweds again. We love being with each other and we are now able to start checking some items off of our ever-growing bucket list. We see our kids and grandkids often and love the flexibility of our new schedule. We love being empty nesters! After all, we still have at least 25 to 30 years left to enjoy our marriage.

You may also be interested in How The Power Of Holy Spirit Guides Love In Marriage

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