First Lesson From the Empty Nest

The empty nest life is nice. For the nearly 30 years of our marriage, Brenda and I have shared a house with another human being. From our sisters, to a brother by another mother, and our children, we’ve lived our married life for all but a handful of months with other people. While I can’t tell you all the crazy fun things about the early days of living together all alone, here’s one thing we’ve discovered: call your mother.

She Doesn’t Want to Bother You

Since August, we’ve thought it and I’ve heard more than one mother of adult sons or daughters say about their kids, “They’re so busy.” What that means is she doesn’t want to bother you. She knows you have a lot going on with your own kids, with work responsibilities, taking care of your house or pets, or getting school work done. She knows your time is limited. Now that you’re gone, she’s learning to fill the time she used to spend on you. But filling that time doesn’t make up for the lack of day-to-day contact with you. Help a girl out, and give her call. She doesn’t want to bother you.

She Wants to Know about Your Life

When you call, she’s more interested in knowing about you than telling you what’s happening in her life. Think about it, for years who knew more about your life than mom? That may not be true for everybody, but for most of us it is. She knew what you ate for breakfast and dinner. She knew what time you left the house and if you snuck out at night. She listened when you told her the good things about the day and the hard things too. For a long time she sang the same songs with you during worship and listened to the same text from the Word of God as your family’s pastor preached to you. She knew when you had a cold, when you needed new shoes, and if you had a crush on girl. She’d still like to know those things.

If she’s a godly mom, she’s been praying about many matters concerning you since before you were born. She hasn’t stopped since you left home. During the day if she’s home alone or if there’s a quiet moment at work, she’s probably thinking about you and likely talking to God about you. When she hears from you, she knows better how to pray for you, and she rejoices at God’s answers to her prayers for you.

Not My Kids

If you’re one of my kids, this isn’t some passive-aggressive way to get you to call your mom. If you’re not one of my kids, please don’t think my kids are cold-hearted freeloaders who don’t care anymore about their mom. We’ve got great kids who continue to make us important. Life is different now, however, and your mom is not as likely to initiate with you because life circumstances have changed. So, give her a call. Respond to her weird-to-you texts. Facetime with her. Send her an email. Drop a card in the mail. You will make her day, you’ll be glad you made the effort, and you will please the Lord by giving honor to your mom (Eph. 6:2).

If you think about it, call your dad too.

As always I welcome your feedback and any ideas you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.