"Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God." 1 Timothy 5:1-4
Taking Care of Your Family
I work part-time for a "senior living referral" company and many times a day I hear people say: "I'm the only sibling who is taking responsibility for taking care of my parents. My brothers and sisters could care less." I am thankful that there is at least one person who wants to care for their elderly family member/s but it aches my heart to think of the majority just ignoring the need of family.
Let's look at the scripture above: "caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God." I have a friend whose family I highly respect for the way that they took care of their elderly father when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. There were 6 children & they each took 1 day a week every week (thankfully they all lived in the area) and then on the 7th day they paid somebody to stay with their father to take care of him for that day. On the day that was "their" day they would spend the entire day with their father and if a doctor appointment happened to fall on that day then it was their responsibility to take him. They also cleaned, did laundry, prepared meals etc. This is what God intended and I know that they are all richly blessed from spending that time with their dad (even though there were times when it was not enjoyable due to the disease).
I know that there are situations (like distance) that make it impossible to provide for your family like my friend did but there are so many other ways that we can provide for our family:
Prayer - First and foremost - pray constantly for your loved ones. Not only will your relatives see results but you will also be comforted.
Call - in our modern world with "unlimited" phone plans there is no excuse for not calling your loved ones!! And I mean calling daily or at least weekly!! Even if your loved one lives with a different family member and you know that they are being cared for - you still need to call often! Life is short - make every second count.
Email - if your loved one happens to have email why wouldn't you use this mode of communication constantly? It is immediate and cheap! Make use of our modern conveniences.
Snail Mail - I still feel that receiving something in the mail is better than the digital form. Yes, email is quick but receiving a hand written letter is something real that you can hold in your hands. Also, a stamp is still only cents and very affordable.
Financial - if you are able to help out financially then that is obviously very important. Maybe you work midnights and calling is difficult because you are sleeping during the day when your loved one is awake - so providing financially might be a needed provision.
Time - even if you do not bring anything - just spending time with your relative - be there with your loved one whenever you are able. Eliminating loneliness is priceless.
"If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1 Timothy 5:8
Those are pretty strong words - If you do not provide for your relatives then you are "worse than an unbeliever" !!
#1 Christians are NOT Excluded from Obedience
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