Sarcastic, disrespectful children – it’s a bit shocking to hear, isn’t it? Ugly words get hurled, like mud balls on the playground creating much more disaster than a load of laundry. But who are the children? Who are their parents? I’m not referring to teens and their 40-somethings mom and dad. I’m talking about grown adults who are hurling the words and attitudes at their elderly parents.
Perhaps it started when the parents got sick and needed special help from their children. Maybe it began when one of the parents died, leaving just one – alone, struggling, hurting and needy. It cuts into the world and time of a busy adult already struggling with other issues of their own children, marriage and jobs. This creates pressures and sometimes also causes wrong responses and attitudes towards the people we love and should care for the most.
Our loving God, who knows what happens in families, put a Scripture in Proverbs to remind us to guard our hearts, and to treat our aging parents with love, respect and care.
Why would a child have the temptation to “despise their mother when she is old?” She may:
- Be in pain and be “short” with her responses
- Be low in finances and be very frugal, to the point that you’d be tempted to shake your head
- Be worried about health issues and be discouraged
- Be lonely and need your company more often
- Be sick and need your care
- Be forgetful and need your helpful reminders of things, appointments, places and belongings
- Be hard of hearing and need you to repeat yourself more than once
All of the above mentioned reasons could very well test a person’s patience, but let’s face it, when we were young children at her feet, did we not test her patience? Did she not give us extra attention when we needed it? Why then would we despise her for her needs?
It’s no mistake that the Lord, the Giver of our parents, placed this Scripture in His Word because He knew there would be a temptation for some to “despise” their mom at a time when she may need her children’s understanding and love the most. Don’t allow the changes that have come to your parents in their latter years to build resentment towards them. Love them they way that you would want to be treated. After all, you will indeed reap what you sow.