Proverbs 23:22 “Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
This verse reminds of how important parents are, and that we should never forget that fact. It can become so easy through the busy routine of life to forget that. Most of us don’t do it intentionally. It’s just one of those things that can happen so easily. In fact, one preacher said this about kids and their parents. “When kids are young they IDOLIZE their parents. When they hit the early teen years, they DESPISE their parents, and when they become young adults they UTILIZE their parents.”. (Source unkown). How true is that?
Like any other kid, I went through those same stages. When I was young, I loved being around my parents and thought they hung the moon. As I entered the teenage years I thought I knew more than they did. Yet, as a young adult and especially after getting married and starting a family I realized they were pretty stinking smart! It gives me hope. Rachel and I have three kids: 16, 13, and 4. Two are in the despise stage, and one is still in the idolize stage. So, about the time our first two transition into the utilize stage our third child will move into that awesome “despise” stage . But, knowing the middle stage is the toughest and having hope for the third stage is good…I think LOL.
I’ve said all that to say at 42 years old I have a deep respect and love for my parents. I am grateful that God gave me such great parents, and I love them both so much. I loved them through my terrible teen years, and I just did a really poor job of showing it. ( like most teens ).
Now my parents are in their early 70’s, and my mom has dementia. She’s most likely in the latter stage of the disease which causes a lot of problems. My dad is an absolute hero, and does an awesome job taking care of her. I got a call this morning that she was in the floor and he wasn’t able to get her up on his own. So, once I got the call I turned my car around, called my boss, and headed straight to my parents to help my dad. It’s sad when you see your mom in that condition, but it was my privilege to get to help my very own mom up and back on her feet. You see, my mom is not in her right mind anymore because of this terrible disease called dementia. Most of the time she doesn’t know who we are, and sometimes her actions don’t reflect who my mom truly was before the disease took over her brain.
Both of my parents have always put my sister and me before them in everything. They have sacrificed for us. They have put their own ambitions and desires on hold so many times to make sure they were doing what was best for their children and family. Yes, they were doing what good parents do, but these were conscious decisions they made out of sacrificial love for their family.
And this verse Proverbs 23:22 is a stark reminder to me about treasuring the parents I have no matter the physical or mental condition they may end up in. I listen to my dad because he wise from many years of experience, and he loves me. Since I know he loves me, and he’s wise I am wise to listen to him. I do not despise my mother even in the midst of this terrible disease that has taken over her mind and body. She gave birth to me, fed me, cared for me, changed my diaper as a baby, and picked me up every time I fell.
Now, in those times when she falls down, as her son, it’s my privilege to pick up the mom who was always there to pick me up. Let us cherish the parents God gives us, because life moves pretty fast.