When children leave home, what then?

Family closeness is something to nurture and support through prayer. That very effort paves the way for a broader sense of family.

Although a great deal of media attention is given to statistics regarding divorce and family separations, many parents and children are working together prayerfully to solve their problems. They turn to God for guidance, seeking not any one individual's will but God's will. A spiritual bond stronger than human ties is established when family problems are solved through prayer.

But what happens to this closeness when children become adults and leave home? Do devoted dads and moms have to feel deprived of closeness and companionship? An experience I had helped me learn more about how we can heal sorrow over separation from those we love.

After our children married, one lived on the West Coast of the United States and the other on the East Coast, while we lived in the Southwest. Our family had always been close, each member involved in supporting the others' activities and progress. I missed our son and daughter and their spouses, but I had accepted the separation as necessary. A friend's sympathetic comment and my reaction of self-pity, however, made me realize I needed to learn more about the real basis of family unity.

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Taking the stress out of relationships
August 2, 1993

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