Family Challenge Mid-Life

Many who are looking to make a global impact are empty nesters. The children are out of the house, and exciting new options are suddenly open. But these independent adult children can represent a significant issue when we begin talking about global impact. Are we going to leave them? Will we be here for family gatherings? When will we be back for visits? These and many other questions can give us pause as we consider a cross-cultural move or even a move to a different part of this country. It’s good to remind them that travel today is quick, easily arranged and relatively inexpensive.

One corporate couple connected with a ministry to disciple pastors in Malawi. They served there from February through October – the summer season in Africa. Then they spent the holiday season in the US with their family. They loved their family but were powerfully drawn by the Lord to serve that nation in discipleship. Matthew 19:29

We also think of our parents as they enter the stage in life where they may need more care. We experience a role reversal and find ourselves needing to help them in ways they used to help us. While it may require time and patience, it is certainly much easier to care for them if we are physically close. What if we are in a completely different country and there is an emergency? This is a good question with many right answers. Each one of us needs to find our own answer to this issue if we have aging parents who are dependent on us. It is one of the decisions we face when we find ourselves drawn to make a global impact.

Whether it’s parents, siblings, children or grandchildren, leaving them is difficult. But God is not on the sidelines for this challenge. Listen to the words of Jesus in Mark 10:29-30: “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.”

Go for it! Trust that God is good for his side of the deal.