Oh, Mom!

Proverbs 23:22 Harken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. Two oft broken commands! But if you will be wise they must be followed. I will deal with the first at another time, but now I would like to deal with the second because of some people who I know that are having difficulty with it. Of course motherhood is not what it used to be. It used to be that if you came home mom was most often in the kitchen. She could cure cancer with a kiss. There were very few single mothers and Dad’s word was final. She was up first for breakfast and in bed last cleaning house. She was up all night tending your fever, she bandaged up your wounds in flesh and heart. She did require unreasonable things like washing your hands before supper and not allowing you to bring grasshoppers and frogs into the house. But times have changed. Parents don’t cherish one another and rip the children’s security to shreds by divorce. Latch key children cone home to an empty house and eat more fast food and microwaved meals than home cooking. But now mom is old. And the Bible still says not to despise her. She complains a lot, she calls at inconvenient times and wants to stay on the phone forever. She fusses about trivial things and the negatives she had in her youth are magnified in old age. Maybe she has Alzheimer’s or dementia. God bless you, it is not easy. Why don’t you come see me? You really should raise your kids this way. Can you drop what you are doing and get this or that. I don’t want to take my medicine. Why haven’t you got this done yet. God bless you, it isn’t easy. But remember, she is in pain, often severe. Her digestion doesn’t work as well, which makes you grumpy. She is often in some degree of confusion which is frustrating. Depression and other ailments of the mind are setting in. Memory is fading. And the sweet old lady that we envision is simply not there. Sometimes realizing what is making you angry at her disagreeableness helps. You may need to unburden yourself of some of the stress, and don’t let her make you feel guilty. And remember that if God gives you a command he will help you obey it, He is only a prayer away. And please please remember that when God gives you a cross to bear he gives you a reward for bearing it. Remember that many things you must do for her now she did for you in your infancy. And your children may have to do the same for you in your old age. And your mom must now adjust to you giving her the orders instead of the other way around. You are both also staring her death in the face and it is not easy. God bless you. You will be angry, frustrated, and on the verge of tears. You will be exhausted, you will need help. But there is such a reward for obeying God. Do not despise your mother when she is old.

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