7. Show Appreciation
Slide 7 of 7
It is so easy to dwell on mistakes. In fact, we are all pretty good at finding fault. Waging the fight against our natural tendencies, we must strive to look past any discomfort or frustration we may feel toward our aging parents. Instead of allowing complaint to be our response, we can love them by looking for something to be thankful for, by building them up rather than tearing them down.
One way we can show our appreciation is to esteem them. In other words, give them credit when and where we can. Esteeming is a simple act that will bring great joy and honor to our parents, and it can be done both privately and publicly.
In private, say things like, “You know, Mom, I really appreciate that you taught me about putting other people first,” or “Thank you, Dad, for teaching me how to change a flat tire.”
When in public, speak well of them. We can accomplish this by addressing our words directly toward our parents or expressing them to others.
As a special act of love, we can also take the time to write out the things for which we are thankful. We can do so in a formal tribute written for a special occasion such as an anniversary or birthday or in a simple letter. Nothing, absolutely nothing, shows appreciation, honor, or love to our parents more than our taking the time to sit down and write out a letter – with a pen, on paper!
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:7
No, our parents are not perfect. Yes, they made a few mistakes along the way. They may have even made a lot of huge mistakes.
One of the best ways we can love our aging parents is to choose to forgive. With determination and resolve, we can choose not to keep bringing their mistakes back up, retaliate, or punish. Instead, we can choose to shower them with the grace of God that He so freely gives to each of us. How we treat our parents is a sign of our faith in Christ.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
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