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Children Persecuting their Elderly Parents

Updated on June 16, 2016

If you ask me how old I am, I would say 57. But, if you ask the same question to an angel, you’d get a response something like:

ANGEL : My answer will not help you resolve the debate as to how long it took our Father to create planet earth. In our Father's home in Heaven, there is no factor of time. This means that for us in Heaven it seems like we have always been in existence, and always will be in existence. Therefore, I do not sense how old I am.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: - Ephesians 6:1-2

HOLY SPIRIT : You have been ministering as a pastor for many years. What is the loneliest group of people you have observed those years?

ME : The loneliest group of people that I have seen are elderly people in rest homes and nursing homes, who have children living in the same area but very seldom do they visit their parents living in such care homes.

Three Examples

(1) There was a married couple who had three teenage children. When the father's parents needed some special care, they placed them in a nursing home. They had plenty of room in their home and could have even hired the necessary help to take care for the man's parents. The reason they gave for placing his parents in a nursing home was that they knew the lifestyle of his parents would clash with that of their teenagers. They only visited his parents about once every three months.

(2) In one rest home, I met a retired schoolteacher. She talked about her son and family; but in a year, the lady’s son visited her only once. As a result, the lonely woman slept most of the time.

(3) A wife asked me to start visiting her husband in a nursing home who had multiple sclerosis. The man's wife regularly visited her husband, but the son would not visit his father. The son stated that he used to do a lot of activities with his father and it hurts him too much to see his father confined to a bed, not being able to even feed himself. The son said the hurt he experienced when he visited his father was too great for him to continue visiting his father.

HOLY SPIRIT : The first thing I (HS) am stating is that the children of the families of the examples that you just recalled were actually PERSECUTING their parents because they did not take time to visit them in a rest home or nursing home. Our text verses support this statement. What types of parents are involved in our text verses?

ME : Good morning, Holy Spirit. The parents mentioned in these two verses of the scripture are born again Christians who are teaching their children the word of our Father. They are teaching the word of our Father by teaching their children the scripture and by being a living example of the Word.

HOLY SPIRIT : There are two words, the word OBEY and the word HONOR, that I (HS) inspired Apostle Paul to use to state the type of response that children of born again parents should be giving. What is the meaning of these two words that I (HS) led you to understand?

ME : The basic meaning of the word “obey” is that children should discipline their lives according to the scriptures that their parents have taught them. The idea of the word “honor” is that children of born again parents should honor their parents as a gift that our Father has given them.

Scriptural Reference 1

Deuteronomy 5:16 - “Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

When our Father began to reveal His mind to His people, He included the teaching that it is our Father's will that children of righteous parents give honor to their parents. This Old Testament word for honor includes the idea of giving assistance. In the society we are living today, the emphasis is more upon what parents give children, including the idea of inheritance, but the Biblical emphasis is about assistance that children can give to their parents.

Should you send your elderly parents to care homes?

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Scriptural Reference 2

1 Timothy 5:4 - “But if any widow has children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to REQUITE their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.”

The word "requite" in this verse is very important and it includes the following meanings.

(1) The meaning of this word includes the idea that from the time of conception through the teenage years, parents spend a lot of money and effort on their children.

(2) The second part of the meaning of this word is about children giving back to their parents some of what the parents have given to or spent on their children.

Scriptural Reference 3

Deuteronomy 21:15-17 - “If a man has two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, [both] the beloved and the hated; and [if] the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he makes his sons to inherit [that] which he hath, [that] he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, [which is indeed] the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated [for] the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he [is] the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn [is] his.”

These verses are from some of the early instructions that our Father gave to His chosen people. If a father died, the firstborn son received a double portion of inheritance, and the other sons received a single portion inheritance. The firstborn son received the larger inheritance so he could take care of his widowed mother until she died and his sisters until they married.

Many elderly parents today provide for themselves through social security, pensions and investments, but if elderly parents do not have enough the children should provide help, including helping to pay for the physical and material needs of their elderly parents. Though the structure of the society in which we live is different than in Old Testament times, the principle of children helping their elderly parents is the same as it was in Old Testament times.

Scriptural Reference 4

Mark 7:11 - “But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, [It is] Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightiest be profited by me; [he shall be free].”

The meaning of the name Corban means a gift dedicated to our Father. The Pharisees had a law that if the firstborn son would say that his possessions were dedicated to our Father, he did not have to use some of his money to care for his widowed mother or unmarried sisters. Christ our Lord commented upon the law of the Pharisees to state that it is still the responsibility of the children to take care of their elderly parents.

Godly Fear

HOLY SPIRIT : When the children of born again parents do not take time to regularly visit or contact their elderly parents, and if the need arises to help with provision for their physical and material needs, the children are in the area of persecuting their elderly parents.

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