Family, one part
Over the past month, I have had plenty of time to contemplate my blessings. While my greatest blessing is my salvation in Christ Jesus, the blessing that is next on that list would have to be my family.
Last week, I had the privilege of hanging out with two of our three grandchildren (their parents took a much-needed getaway from the kids trip), and WOW was that a blast. More on that in a future post.
I have also been in conversation with a dear sister in Christ who has been the caretaker of her father, who is now going to have to be placed in a nursing home for his own safety & well-keeping as well as for hers. Having been there and done that, I have been able to give her some encouraging words. Placing a parent in a nursing home is perhaps one of the toughest things a Christian can go through. We want to honor our parents, and to honor God’s Word about caring for our aging parents. 1 Timothy 5:4 reminds us: 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.
As followers of Christ, we desire to please God with our lifestyle. We feel guilty if we get to the point of needing to place a loved one in a skilled nursing facility. What we often fail to recognize is that IF the time comes when that parent would receive better care and be in a safer environment in a nursing home than they could living at home with their adult children or alone, then that is the BEST decision that could be made!
In making the decision to place my Dad in a skilled nursing facility, I took into account that he had lived with us for four years, that his frequent falls could easily result in broken bones. Only by God’s grace, did Dad somehow manage to avoid broken bones, but trips to the ER to stitch up lacerations were not uncommon. He fell more than a half dozen times in the last 12 months he lived with us, and he fell 9 times in the last 8 days he lived with us! Despite our best efforts, we could not look after him in a way that lined up with James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
During a recent visit with Dad, I ran into one of the social workers at the facility. She gushed about me to another guest there talking about how often I am there to see Dad. Frankly, it was a bit embarrassing. I visit Dad as often as I possibly can, but not nearly as often as I would like to. Yet, this social worker sees in me, the desire to honor my Dad (and God) by being there for him often. No, Dad no longer resides in my home, but my love for Dad is stronger than ever. My desire to be the best son I can be for him drives my every decision. I want what is best for him. That desire is honoring to my Dad. That decision is honoring to my Lord Jesus. After all, we are family.