Posted by: the warrioress | September 9, 2013

Throw-away Society

“If anyone doesn’t take care of his own relatives, especially his immediate family, he has denied the Christian faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” -1 Timothy 5:8

Question: “What does the Bible say about caring for our old parents?”

Answer: The Bible has much to say about caring for elderly parents and other family members who are not able to care for themselves. The early Christian church acted as the social services agency for other believers. They cared for the poor, the sick, the widows and the orphans who had no one else to care for them. Christians who had family members in need were expected to meet those needs. Unfortunately, caring for our parents in their old age is no longer an obligation that many of us are willing to accept.

The elderly can be seen as burdens rather than blessings. Sometimes we are quick to forget the sacrifices our parents made for us when they are in need of care themselves. Instead of taking them into our homes—whenever that is safe and feasible—we put them in retirement communities or nursing homes, sometimes against their will. We may not value the wisdom they have acquired through living long lives, and we can discredit their advice as “outdated.”

When we honor and care for our parents, we are serving God as well. The Bible says, “The church should care for any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God very much….But those who won’t care for their own relatives, especially those living in the same household, have denied what we believe. Such people are worse than unbelievers” (1 Timothy 5:3-4,8).

Not all elderly people need or want constant, live-in care in their children’s homes. They may prefer to live in a community with other people their age, or they may be quite capable of complete independence. Regardless of the circumstances, we still have obligations to our parents. If they are in need of financial assistance, we should help them. If they are sick, we should take care of them. If they need a place to stay, we should offer our home. If they need help with household and/or yard work, we should step up to assist. And if they are under the care of a nursing facility, we need to assess the living conditions to make sure our parents are being properly and lovingly cared for.

We should never allow the cares of the world to overshadow the things that are most important—serving God through serving people, especially the people in our own families. The Bible says, “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—”that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3).




  1. Wow. Your timing (and God’s) is perfect; my wife and I have been immersed for the last year plus in the care of her parents. Her father just died, and her mother, though still independent, is in failing health. She can be very difficult to deal with at times; despite our personal perceptions, thanks for the reminder that our mission is clear!

  2. This is an issue that I have been fighting against for years. These so called Retirement homes or nursing home are an example of the Greed industry at work. Many Christian groups use these to line their pockets as well. My wife and I call them “Gods green room” A place where the old, elderly and sick can wait to die. Shameful but true nonethe less.

  3. Adrienne, just wanna say, I am part of what you refer to as ‘throw-away society’. I am watching this all around me with friends, neighbors etc.
    My 2 oldest daughters are in the elderly heath care “INDUSTRY”~ and that’s exactly what it is. I thank God my daughter’s love these people very much and go above and beyond their work requirements!
    I also wanted to shout a huge AMEN to drdenis comment! Unbelievers who live according to the “world’s standards” is one thing— but when supposed Christians push their elderly/disabled family members into ‘government regulated and funded facilities’ it is more than pitiful– it’s a SIN.
    Thanks honey for this post!

  4. Streim,

    Hey gal, how you doing? (big hugs)

    I grew up caring for the elderly and the elderly within my own family. I know the state of our country’s nursing homes; it’s not a pretty picture. I do hope Christians begin to think about the living out of what they believe. Christianity is not just about going to church and donating to a charity now and again. 😉 God bless, Streim. And thanks for your comment.

  5. Dr. Denis,

    I’ve been fighting against the same issue for years too, Dr. I pray that Christians in America wake up to the realities of these horrific places to go and die and find or make other arrangements for their family and friends. Sometimes it cannot be helped, true, but then it is imperative that the family member stuck in one of these be visited several times a week and checked up on, especially if they are not alert and are confused and unable to care for themselves.

    May God convict the hearts of every Christian who has erred in his or her responsibility to his or her own.

  6. Struggler,

    I am so very glad to hear that you guys are loving your wife’s parents in action as well as word, as God intended. I always knew you were someone who had a compassionate, generous, loving heart. Blessings and thanks for the comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: