When It's Time for the Kids to Leave
May 30, 1993 am
See Ephesians 4:11-16
Introduction: When you look at the created order you will discover that we as human beings have more trouble releasing our young than any of God's creatures. Bears have no trouble saying good-bye to their cubs, wolves don't go into depression, and some birds literally push their young from the nest to teach them how to fly.
Why do we want to hold on so firmly? Perhaps we fear their inability to face the reality of the real world. Or maybe it is because we think we have somehow failed in the preparation process. Holding on does not guarantee that they will somehow be better prepared. In fact the very reverse of that may take place if they are never given the opportunity to think, risk, and act independently of parents. Illustration: While in my seminary pastorate I encountered two adult brothers well into mid-life who still were not emotionally functionally adults because they had never left the nest. In fact they were still under the emotional and financial bondage of parents. Perhaps if we could develop and follow a process for releasing our children over time, it would take the shock and trauma out of their leaving.
CYCLES IN FAMILY LIFE
• Family founding. This cycle begins with the wedding and goes through the birth of the first child.
• Childbearing. This starts with the birth of the first child and lasts until the last child enters school.
• Child rearing. This lasts from the time the first child enters school until the last child enters college or leaves home.
• Child launching. Beginning with the first child's departure from home, this cycle lasts until the last child leaves.
• Empty nest. All the children have left home at this point. (Swindoll, Strong Family, p.153-154. Author of cycle unknown.)
While each of the cycles or stages has its own particular struggles, perhaps none is so difficult as the child launching stag ...
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