Six or seven times, she told me. That’s how often she would got up every night to help her mother who has dementia. She said it with a smile, as if it were a privilege and not a burden.
Then there was this septic guy yesterday. Well, he wasn’t septic, but he pumps that stuff. When he answered the phone to set up an appointment I told him I wasn’t sure if the business was still going, because I knew the owner had passed away a few years ago.
I took it over for dad, and I’m keeping it going to help pay mom’s mortgage, he said.
He talked about how busy he was –working two jobs, but he would sure fit me in.
You’re a good son to take care of your momma, I told him.
Well, she took care of me all those years. It’s my turn to take care of her.
Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise)… (Ephesians 6:2 NASB)
You know how Hebrews 11 lists off all these people who went before us and walked in faith? I think there should be a chapter in the Bible like that entitled: People Who Took Great Care of Their Folks.
My husband goes over to install the AC unit at his mom’s house in the spring.
My aunt helped her wheelchair-bound dad get to the bathroom.
My sister-in-law packed up and left her home for a week so she could keep my mom company.
My brother chopped limbs off a tree and changed the weed-eater cord.
Yesterday my boy helped clean out the overgrown area where the dog kennel used to be. He did the heavy work, and I pulled weeds.
We don’t talk about it very often –this selfless and beautiful expression of God’s love made visible through one caring child. When the love of many families has run cold, this remains a warm and hopeful characteristic of followers of Christ.
And what is the promise Paul mentions in Ephesians?
Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you… (Deuteronomy 5:16 NASB)
There is reward for our own lives if we keep our parents in a place of honor.
As a parent, I know I can make my kids crazy sometimes with my own flawed character. But it’s these flawed parents we are all commanded to give great weight to in our minds. We honor them not because they’re shining stars of perfection but because it makes God happy.
So if you are a little bit worn out with your mom and dad? Don’t give up.
Never too old to obey the fifth commandment.