Thursday, March 27, 2014

Honoring your parents


I saw a woman in the elevator at work. She was taking her mom to or from an appointment. The woman’s mother looked to be around eighty or so. She had twinkling blue eyes and she smiled at me. The woman with her mother looked bored and aggravated, as if this action of taking care of her mother was the most unwelcome chore in her life.
I remembered when my Dad was in the hospital at the end of his life. He was very ill, and apologized to me for being such a bother. I thanked him for the great life he provided for me, and told him never to apologize. I said “Dad, you didn’t throw us out when we were too much trouble, you made sure we were fed, sent us to good schools, and never turned your back on us (there were six siblings) even when we deserved it.”
People are living longer now, and many people have taken on the role of caregiver to their aging parent. I see some of them. They are aggravated with their parent for being old and needing care. And, yes, it is difficult. But so were they when they were they were babies, toddlers and teenagers.
If you are in this situation, remember your parent took care of you when you were unlovable. And, the way society is today, your parents could have ignored you, walked away from you, or simply thrown you out of the house.
There is a psychological toll when a care-giving child has to come to terms with the fact that they, the caregiver, are no longer children. It is a kind of forced adulthood. However, do not dishonor your parents. Do not act as if this is a huge inconvenience and wear your distain on your face. No parent wants this situation when the roles reverse.
Remember the fifth commandment:
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 5:16 (ESV). This is not just for kids.