Tuesday, July 31, 2012

As Our Parents Age

As life moves on, you grow up (and probably by now some of you might already have children), don’t forget – our parents are aging. At one time they took care of us, remember? Now we may have to take care of them. At the center of God’s Ten Commandments in the Old Testament Scripture which is still fresh today is: “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). This is a lifelong commandment.

And one way we are to obey this commandment is by helping them as they grow older. It may not be easy (I know, like kids; old folks are also troublesome sometime) or it may involve difficult decisions that require great sensitivity and wisdom and patience. I remember a difficult decision that my uncles and aunties have to face when my late grandma aging. Either to send her to old folk’s home or to take care of her personally – but then a solid decision was made: my uncle decided to take care of her with the help of his brothers and sisters. My grandma (I think) wouldn’t know if the decision is likewise and it would be easier for the family too, but as the Lord says, “Honor your father and mother”; they obeyed and it was very rewarding to do so – she died happy in the present of hers’ own children (and not strangers).

If God gives you responsibility for aging parents, seek what is best for them, not what is most convenient for you. Keep them in contact. Again I say this to you – keep contact with them! Had you ever visit any nursing home? If you had, you would not be surprise when the staffs ask you to greet the residents, saying, “Just saying hello means so much to them.” (Sometime they would utter this heartbroken remark: “Their families never visit them again”). Very sad…

My ‘Rose Books of Charts, Maps, and Time Lines’ (Rose Publishing, Inc. 2005. Pg. 57) reference book gives a modern example on how to obey the 5th commandment: “Treat your parents with respect no matter what. Your parents have made many sacrifices to raise you. They have changed diapers, lost sleep, brought food, toys and clothes, paid doctor bills and changed their schedules to help you. Even if you don’t get along with your parents, they deserve your gratitude…” and one way we obey this commandment and to show our gratitude to them is by helping them as they grow older. Billy Graham added, “If ever we needed to put the Golden Rule into action, it’s with our aging parents.” Right!

THINK BIG: God command, what He says?
START SMALL: “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12)
GO DEEP: Soon, it’s your turn. Therefore, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” (Matthew 7:12) Specifically here: "Do to your parents whatever you would like your children to do to you" (My commentary)

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