When the children in a family grow up to be adults and leave home to start their own homes or attend college, we say that the parents are “empty nesting.” The nest or home that they have made and maintained over 20+ years now is empty of “chicks”, that is, children. Life changes for parents as well as children.
Think about the “nests” or homes that you’ve lived in. When you were a child, what kind of nest did your parents make for you? When did you first make your own “nest”? What are the pros and cons about making your own nest or having someone else make a nest for you?
If you are married, what are the different roles of husband and wife in making a nest? Is it truly a nest if husband and wife do not have children? Why or why not?
What do you like about building a nest or home? What do you dislike about it? Compare building a nest in the U.S. versus building a nest in your native country. What are the similarities and differences?
Do you think that your native society or the U.S. society is more helpful to people building their nests? What is helpful? What is not helpful?
What would your dream nest be like? Where would you build it? What are the important parts of it – think of attitudes and atmosphere, physical characteristics of a home, relationships – who would live in your nest with you?
When children leave their homes, perhaps to go to college, and then return – what should their relationship with their parents be like? What kinds of “house rules” are appropriate for adult children living with their parents? What kinds of rules or conditions are not appropriate for adult children living with their parents?
The two psalms below speak about children. Think of the metaphors of children as “fruit” or as “arrows”. Do you relate to these ideas? Explain. What are other metaphors for children that make sense to you?
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the
womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalms 127:3-4
“How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in
”When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, and be happy, all your days.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house
Your children like olive plants around your table.
Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord” Psalm 128:1-3