Meditations by John Dean

Monday, September 17, 2012

Respecting Our Elderly

(Proverbs 30:11 KJV)There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. 

Over the years I have noticed that one way many children disrespect their ageing parents is by avoiding them as much as possible. When they are around them it seems as though it is more of a chore than a pleasure.

One reason for such behavior could be the result of doting parents, which usually means the children grow up without established boundaries or rules. When this happens, the Adamic nature in a child begins to develop on its own and the result is usually selfishness.

A selfish person only likes to think of themselves; therefore spending time with aged parents does not fit into their self-pleasure.

Another possible reason for such behavior is when a child is brought up in a home where one or both parents are driven by an angry religious spirit. This is the worst kind of home to be brought up in, because the child sees God through the same rose colored glasses as they see their parents. This usually means that the parents do not like themselves, so they take it out on the child, but then they put on their angelic smile when they are in church.

The result of the first example is why the child does not like to spend time with their elderly parents. The result of the second example is why the child does not like to spend time with God.

In either case it seems that when the “once strong parents” become weak and needy, they repel the very ones who were once magnetically drawn to them, such as their children.

However, I am happy to say that the above two examples are hopefully in the minority and not the majority. There is nothing more heartwarming than to see a child love and show respect for their aging parents or grandparents, even though sometimes it may be difficult.

It is easy to love and care for a little baby who is totally dependent on you. However, it is much harder to love and care for a “once strong independent hill- taker type person” who has grown old and weak and is as needy as a little baby. I realize that sometimes it is difficult for one to get their mind around such a change in a person’s life.

I personally enjoy learning practical lessons from those who set good examples. The best example of loving and caring for aging parents and grandparents was set by my dear friends, Dan and Gayle Haas. Dan and Gayle not only had their youngest daughter still living at home, but Gayle’s father and grandmother lived with them as well.

Typically, when someone else is in your home there is an obvious difference in the atmosphere, even though they all love each other and get along. However, this case was different. There was not a difference in the atmosphere and they all enjoyed themselves as one large complete family. Gayle’s father and grandmother never seemed to feel they were intruding...and the rest of the family did not act as if they were intruding either.

I intently watched and was amazed by the care and respect Dan and Gayle’s wonderful family showed to both her father and grandmother until they went home to be with the Lord.

This combined family actually reminded me of an old television show called the “Walton's.”  Even though Dan and Gayle had four generations living in their home at one time, they were committed to each other and bound by the God-kind of love.
I am always reminded of the way it should be done when I drive past a nursing home and realize that many of those old folks are basically forgotten and the children are waiting for them to die.

Help us not to respond as those in the first two examples by openly showing disrespect for our elderly loved ones. Help us to give them the love and peace as their life is coming to an end as they gave to us as our life and future was beginning. Father, we want to be just like You in sowing grace and love.

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