A Privilege and Responsibility
"Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God. . . . But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers." - (1 Timothy 5:3-4, 8 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
Caring for our own family is a spiritual privilege and obligation. Today's scripture speaks to the responsibility of caring for one's own family.
The word repaying is used to describe the son's or daughter's responsibility to parents and grandparents and carries with it the meaning of giving to our loved ones what they gave to us. In most cases, parents sacrificed, nurtured, and did for us things we could not do for ourselves. Now is our opportunity to do the same for them. This is a serious commitment and duty that most feel honored to fulfill.
Consider this …
Before someone takes on the role of caregiver, they must acknowledge that a loved one faces functional limitations and requires care—something many people would rather deny. You may be struggling to recognize your parents' needs and dealing with them. Perhaps you see the need but other family members don't.
Ask God to help you wisely evaluate the needs and respond to them. Today's scripture makes it clear that he wants us to assume this responsibility and that we please him when we do.
Approaching your parents may prove to be a challenge. It is unlikely they will ask you to step in and help. They may be having their own problems recognizing or admitting their needs. They are likely to be fearful of losing their independence and losing control of their lives. It is vital that you and other family members be honest with yourselves about the need and begin getting involved.
Father, help my brothers and sisters and me see our loved one's needs clearly. I thank you for the privilege of caring for them. Teach us balance. Help us address their needs while not "taking over" any areas where they are still capable of being on their own. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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