Thursday, July 05, 2007

Care for our elderly

I was listening to the radio the other day, it was a talk show (I do enjoy talk radio, much more than music radio) Anyways,....they were talking about what children do who have been raised in unkind homes, unkind, not necessarily abusive, but parents who really didn't care about their children as they aught to have. And now those parents are old and want their children to care for them. The question was... what should those children go? Should they treat their parents as they were treated, OR should they step up and be nice to their parents regardless of past history? People were divided on the issue.

I listened and thought well.... God would want better of us than to stay in the past. He would want us to care for our parents anyways. And I thought, well... if you can't stand to with your parents, the very least you can do is provide for them. A good nursing home, arrange for volunteer visitors and such like and YES bite the bullet once in a while, go and be nice for 1/2 an hour, trust me, it won't kill you!

So I was remembering that talk show when I read these words from Matthew this morning.
1Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat." 3He answered them, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' 5But you say, 'If anyone tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, 6he need not honor his father.' So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

8"'This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;

9in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"

This isn't a new struggle that people have. It seems in many ways a normal thing to avoid caring for those you don't wish to. Whether it be revenge for past hurts, a desire to keep one's wealth, lack of thought or whatever. God wants us to care for our parents in their old age. They cared for us in our youth. EVEN IF they didn't do it as well as perhaps they should have, they cared enough to see us through to adulthood.

And if one looks at it in the light of all that God has done for us, while we were still sinners (Therefore unworthy to even be seen by him) isn't it a small thing then to extend care and grace and love to those who raised us up? It's like nothing we do can match what God has done for us, but we have to at least do what we can to do what God wants us to do. Care for your parents, regardless!

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