5 Prayers for Empty Nesters Rediscovering Their Marriage

Published Jan 29, 2024
5 Prayers for Empty Nesters Rediscovering Their Marriage

When having children, couples often focus all their attention on caring for them. However, when they get old enough to go to college, couples experience an empty nest. This can be difficult for couples who focus all their attention on their children. This transition can be especially difficult if couples have had children around for eighteen years or more. It's critical for couples to shift their focus from that of caregiver to that of spouse again. With some shifts in perspective, couples can rediscover their marriage in new and exciting ways. Here are some prayers for empty nesters rediscovering their marriage:

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Happy married older senior couple on dock

1. Lord, Help Us Connect with Each Other

One of the main ways couples can rediscover their marriage is by connecting with each other. This may mean taking the time to talk with each other in the evening over a cup of tea, spending more time together, or planning a date night. Whatever that may be, make sure couples spend time just with each other. Ideally, they should do so outside their home or other normal environments. Being in a different place will help them focus solely on each other and rediscover themselves. The first talk together may be awkward, but as a couple gets to know each other again, they discover how much they've changed their likes and dislikes, among other things. It's like discovering a relationship all over again. That can be especially exciting for couples trying to fill the void of the children in their lives.

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Couple reading Bible praying together

2. Lord, Help Us Rediscover You

No marriage can withstand difficult times in life without God at the center. However, it is easy for couples to get so focused on taking care of children that by the time they go to bed at night, they are exhausted and have left very little room for God in their lives. This could be a great time for them to rediscover themselves and their marriage by putting each other at the center. Make time to pray together in the evening (or morning), depending on what is best for your schedule. Choose a book of the Bible, read it together, and study it. This can mean text messages throughout the day talking about what the impact of the Scripture meant to them or some other new insight. As the two meet to discuss the Word, they will find they have more in common than they originally thought. They will also find those loving feelings again if they have fallen by the wayside, simply because God is the one who unites people in marriage. Whatever you decide to do to rediscover the Lord, allow him to be at the center of all of it.

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3. Lord, Help Us Find New Hobbies

Couples may dread having to spend more time together. Simply spending time together does not mean a couple will rediscover their marriage. It may actually drive them away if they do not want to spend so much additional time together. Therefore, it is healthy for both parties to find hobbies they enjoy. Doing something independent of each other that they find intellectually stimulating and fun allows them to unearth their creativity; this can help them rediscover each other in their marriage even more since their needs for creativity and independence are fulfilled.

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4. Lord, Help Us Let Go of Our Kids

The empty nest stage may be difficult, especially because it's hard to transition from having children in the home to not having any children. This can mean a sense of loss, especially for a mother who has been a part of their kids' lives and has been so physically and emotionally present for them. Moms are used to putting themselves second, so putting themselves first will be new and hard at times. As a couple, ask the Lord to help lift the feelings of sorrow and loss as they grieve not having their children home as much with them anymore. Although some kids come back to live with their parents after college, the family dynamic as it once was will never be the same. It can be difficult for parents to accept this reality. Instead of filling their time up with each other, they can instead ask the Lord to lift those feelings of loss and shift their perspective from one of grief to one of joy as they are able to spend more time with their spouse and fall in love all over again.

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5. Lord, Help Us Make Each Other a Priority

As the couple feels a strong sense of loss over their family dynamic changing, it may also be difficult for them to make each other a priority again. Because they've gone so long with putting their children at the center of their lives, prioritizing time with each other again will take work.

A great way to make each other a priority is to rediscover what each other likes and do those things. It may also mean trying something different that you've never tried together before as a couple. For example, if you've never gone out dancing, it might be a good idea to go dancing. It may feel uncomfortable at first if you're not used to spending time together. Still, prioritizing each other is making the other person's likes, preferences, and desires the number one preference in your life. Do what you can to focus yourself and your heart on making the other happy. This may mean doing things outside your comfort zone, planning excursions or vacations, or looking into other ways to help unite you as a couple.

If you have difficulty with this, sit down together and dream again. Think about everything you'd like to get out of life in this second act. Are there places in the world that you would like to see that you never have? Other activities or new skills that you would like to learn? Once you realize what the other person wants out of life, do your best to focus on doing that for them. For example, if they've always wanted to learn a musical instrument, go on Ebay or another site and buy a used instrument. Even if the other partner decides they don't want to do that anymore, you have at least made their dream of trying something new come true.

An empty nest is a difficult transition for any couple, even close couples. However, it doesn't have to be. Empty nests can unearth a new world of possibilities for you and your spouse. As couples rediscover each other, rediscover the Lord, make each other a priority, get new hobbies, and grieve the loss of not having their children around, they may find the second part of their marriage is even better and more fulfilling than the first. When they find they are fulfilled in their marriage, they will likely feel that they have a more fulfilled life as a result.

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Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.

Originally published Monday, 29 January 2024.