3 reasons to consider caring for your aging parents

December 18, 2019

Even as a young adult, I was unusually devoted toward my parents. My devotion to them was, in part, a result of some particular suffering that led me to a deeper dependency on their care. A close friend often remarks, “I hope my children will have the same depth of family loyalty that you have.”

My parents have always cared well for me. But as we have grown older, that care has started to reverse direction. Now I care for them. I certainly cannot take credit or claim that this desire to care for my parents came to me randomly. Instead, I see God’s sovereign hand at work, placing me in a position in which I can care for those who have cared so well for me. That context makes it easy to understand that caring for parents is not merely a choice of personal will or conviction based upon circumstance. Rather, it is a Spirit-led calling I believe God would ask each Christian to consider.

If God planned for my parents to be mine, then isn’t caring for them a divine responsibility?

Here are three passages where Scripture and caring for parents intersect:

1. God preordained them as yours.
Throughout Scripture, family lineage is how God worked not only to bring about the incarnation of Jesus, but also to bring into life many spiritual leaders of various tribes and family lines. It is fascinating to realize God’s sovereign plan to bring redemption to the world had such a strong genetic link. God could have used any method to bring redemption to the world, but He chose to use this detailed structure of DNA. Families were a part of His preordained plan.

In other words, God preordained you to have the parents you have. We can safely conclude that our genetic makeup is also not merely random. If God planned for my parents to be mine, then isn’t caring for them a divine responsibility? Instead of assuming, let’s go to Scripture. One of the best examples of caring for a parent is the beautiful picture Jesus gives in the midst of His deepest suffering on the cross.

2. Jesus gave us an example to follow.
Even while Jesus endured the weight of the sins of the world on the cross, he loved His mother well by ensuring her future care in His absence. John 19:26-27 says,

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”

Most children don’t think of caring for their parents until they are too old to care for themselves, which under normal circumstances doesn’t tend to happen until their parents are in their 60s or beyond. Let me remind you that Jesus was only around 33 years of age when he was crucified, but he took the command to honor mother and father from Exodus 20:12 very seriously.

3. Caring for your parents is a way of loving God.
In Matthew 19:18-19, Jesus is talking to a man about eternal life and takes the opportunity to tie loving your neighbor as yourself to honoring parents. If the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and the second is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22: 37-38), we can conclude that when we honor our parents, we honor God’s greatest commandment. In other words, caring for parents is a form of not only loving others as ourselves, but also loving God.

No matter what station of life you’re in, consider how you too can honor, care for and love your parents, regardless of their age.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kathryn and her husband, Chris, live in Fuquay-Varina, N.C. on Kathryn’s family’s 100-year-old farm next to her parents. She and her parents have been working on the family farm (@jarmonfarm) the past several years to restore it with a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and, soon to be added, chickens and cows. It is their true joy to honor their parents however God plans.


Kathryn Carson
/  Communications Team Leader  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

How the church can fight for unity that honors God

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory...

George Floyd and racial reconciliation in the church

The death of George Floyd has brought about tension, protests and upheaval in an already volatile period in our nation. In these times, we must take every thought captive and search the Scriptures for discernment, wisdom and guidance. Walter Strickland, associate vice president...

Comforts, convictions & considerations for coming out of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered us into a new frontier of pastoral leadership. Over the past few months pastors have learned how to lead churches during a pandemic. Now, pastors are learning how to lead a congregation out of this pandemic. The challenge of this moment should...

Southern Baptist leaders issue joint statement on the death of George Floyd

Southern Baptist leaders have published a statement grieving the recent death of George Floyd and calling for the end of "racial inequity in the distribution of justice in our country." The statement, co-authored by SBC president J.D. Greear and New Orleans Baptist Theological...

6 new rhythms and new normals for your summer

COVID-19 turned our spring upside down and forced us to create new ways to offer discipleship training to our families. Hopefully, parents have embraced the call to disciple their children at home. As summer arrives and teachers no longer send school work home, parents may have...

6 questions to reframe your ministry vision after COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all into new rhythms. Stay-at-home orders for all but the most essential of professionals, caregivers and service providers have dramatically impacted families, businesses and government.Churches are not immune from this impact. Social...

Top 5 resources for June 2020

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

Fort Caswell adjusts summer operations amid COVID-19

Due to ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) officials announced Friday, May 29, that no large group gatherings will take place at Fort Caswell this summer. Instead, Caswell is providing camp and retreat options for...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for our monthly newsletter and events email.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!