The Emptiness/ The Empty Nest
Proverbs 30:15 “The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: 16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.”
(This article is both for those who are experiencing “the empty nest” or for those who have never experienced the joy of children at all.)
The day our first child, Patience Joy, was born was a mixture of happiness and fear. For months, Amy understandably had been very nervous about having to care for an eternal soul. We had many conversations about it, and I would console her. I myself was pretty calm right up until the day we were sure Patience Joy would be born. Then, I became nervous and irritable. The idea of the rest of my life taking care of another soul seemed overwhelming. (Only focusing on one day and responsibility at a time was a big weakness of mine back then! 🙂 But I’ll never forget the moment Patience Joy took her first breath. She let out a little “mew”, and I teared up and bawled like a baby. Ever since then, the two children God has graced Amy and I with have forever grabbed our hearts, thoughts, prayers, and so much more.
Children are definitely a precious reward from the Lord, but what happens when they grow up and leave the house? What happens when your womb truly becomes “barren” and can bear no more children? What about those whose womb has never experienced a living, breathing soul? For Amy and I, we have experienced both the void of having a “barren womb” for 7 years before God gave us our first, and of having the ache of the “barren womb” with no more children to grace our home other than the two God granted us. And we can definitely agree with the text, Pro. 30:15-16, that the barren womb is never satisfied.
So what can you do about the barren womb? Well, you could choose to be overwhelmed by feelings of remorse, regret, and despair, but that won’t fix the “barren womb” problem. The answer is actually pretty simple. The barren womb may never be satisfied, but the believer’s soul is supposed to be!
I Timothy 6:8 “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
As Paul revealed in Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am , therewith to be content.” “Whatsoever” is a far-reaching word. It would include the struggles and aches of a barren womb whether you are 25 or 55. Contentment is a choice. Understand that, of course, your “barren womb” is never satisfied. Your flesh is never satisfied. A child of God, though, is not to look to nor depend upon their flesh but to their Savior!
Hebrews 13:5 “… and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
You are to be content, and can be content because (“for”) Jesus promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Yes, children come and go, but Jesus never leaves! Your earthly life and your eternal life was never fully about your satisfaction or even your children’s satisfaction. It has been and will forever be about Jesus. With Jesus, the barren womb can learn to be content with “whatsoever” God has ordained.