Elderly // Significant Others - Part 3 [Devo]

Paying Mom and Dad Back

This past weekend, we had a wonderful celebration with family and friends for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. I am one of nine kids, so with our spouses and kids, plus extended family and friends, it was a huge party! We went all out — a beautifully decorated room, a big meal of rigatoni, fried chicken, and sides, and a tiered wedding cake that Mom and Dad cut… they chose not to smash it in each other’s faces!

It’s always good to be together, but this occasion was extra special. I am so thankful for my parents, James and Nancy, and their example of sacrificial love, faith and family.

Thankfully, my folks are still active and in good health. From time to time, Mom and Dad call on the family to move a piece of heavy furniture or to catch up on some yard work, but not much more help is needed right now.

However, as they age from 70 to 80 and beyond, if the Lord wills, their needs will steadily increase. As that happens, how will I respond? Will I serve them as they have served me? Or will I neglect my aging parents, as many people do?

On Sunday, Andrew Archer continued our “Significant Others” series. He talked about our responsibility to care for our aging parents and said, “We honor our parents by caring for them when they are in need.”

In Exodus 20, the 5th commandment says, “Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” And in Ephesians 6, the Apostle Paul repeats this commandment in the context of family relationships done God’s way.

Andrew reminded us that honoring our parents when we’re under their roof means obeying them. But honoring doesn’t stop when we move out, it just looks different. A big part of honoring our parents as adults is taking care of them when they are in need. This may look like grocery shopping, transportation, or even housing — whether in your home or another setting.

As the nine of us kids were taking a picture with Mom and Dad at the party,  I started  thinking about how much they have done for us, and for our children. Thousands of diapers changed, meals cooked, loads of laundry run, and so much more. From birth to today, my parents have sacrificially and faithfully met our needs, literally for decades. As my parents and yours age, and as their need for help increases, may we simply do what they have done for us. Let’s love them by taking great care of them, and remember what 1 Timothy 4:3-4 says:

“Support widows who are genuinely widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must learn to practice godliness toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God.”
Author: Josh Rhodes, Pastor of Ministries