"Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 'Honor your father and mother.' This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, 'things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.'
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord." - (Ephesians 6:1-4 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
The apostle Paul clearly states in today's scripture that children are to obey their parents. Does that mean that as adults, part of honoring them means to obey them?
The word for children in this scripture means a young person still dependent on parental support. Fathers are instructed not to provoke them to anger but to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Independent adult children are free to make choices that affect their own lives. They are no longer responsible to obey—but are always responsible to honor.
Consider this …
Role reversal can be a big step for anyone caring for aging parents. If the parents decline in their ability to make wise decisions for themselves, the child must begin guiding and even making decisions for them. When we reach that point, not only are we not obeying them but we are also taking charge of them. Sometimes it's difficult to do that without a sense of guilt.
Pray for guidance to know when it is necessary to "take charge." Your parents should make their own decisions as long as possible, but when that is no longer in their best interest, you must be ready and willing to step in.
You can still honor your parents even if you need to guide them or make decisions for them. Honor them by being willing to do what it takes to provide the best for them. Honor them by continuing to treat them with a loving and respectful attitude.
Father, I really need some help here. Help me to honor my parents by doing what is best for them. Help me not to interfere in areas where they can still make their own decisions but to be ready to step in when I am needed. 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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