Raising Parents

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Scripture Resource Passage: Ephesians 6:2 

by Brooky Brown

Sarah was conflicted. She was excited, happy, and feeling more than a little guilty. She had done the unthinkable. She’d fallen in love at age 70 after being single for more than 25 years following her divorce. The single life afforded her the opportunity to move back to her hometown to assist her aging parents. Since her dad’s passing, it was just she and her mom walking through their grief and learning to live their new normal. In her opinion, they’d done a rather good job of it. 

But now she was moving 3,000 miles away with her new husband and leaving her mom home alone. She was sure God had blessed their marriage, but what about her mom? 

They tried to get her mother to move with them. But Mom was adamant that wasn’t going to happen. She was not leaving her home.

As Sarah listened to her mom, she discovered what she thought was best for her mother wasn’t at all what her mom wanted or what would make her happy.

How was she supposed to “honor” her mother, as the Bible told her to, when she would be living so far away?

Together she and her husband worked out a plan for Sarah to fly home for three months during the worst of Midwest winters and her husband would come and go as work allowed. They thought it was a good idea.

Mom thought it was ridiculous. 

“Listen,” she said. “When you get married it’s forever. When you’re young that’s a long time. At your ages, forever isn’t that long so you need to be together all the time.”

Sarah was frustrated. How could this tiny 90-pound woman be so stubborn?

In her 90s, Sarah’s mom was fiercely independent and basically self-sufficient. She still drove and she was a good driver, so she could get her own groceries and go out to eat when she wanted to. What worried Sarah most was the isolation her mom would endure and the toll it would take on her mind. She knew once or twice a year visits wouldn’t counteract that. So, she enlisted the help of friends, neighbors, and family to check in with her mom frequently. She also vowed to call her mom daily. That was the best Sarah could do given the determined little woman wouldn’t budge.

Life Applications:

  • Have you had to change any of your preconceived ideas about honoring your parents while helping them through their advanced years?
  • Is it possible honoring your parents requires listening to them as you strive to help them achieve their dreams? Are you surprised they still have dreams even when they’re “older than dirt?”

About the author: Brooky Brown is a retired journalist.

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

2 thoughts on “Raising Parents

    1. Yes, she’s happily living in Washington state…a long long way from Indiana and FL as well! Trust each of you are well today…all quiet here…report just in from Joye that Barry’s back surgery of earlier this morning was very successful…major recovery time but optimistic surgeon gives excellent report…to be continued…love to each of you…

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