"Honor The Aged Among You"

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by wallflower, Feb 27, 2014.

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    wallflower

    wallflower Moderator

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    The Watchtower (Study Edition) March 15, 2014
    Pages 20-24

    I had the impression that this was one of those articles that sounds good on paper, but putting the words into actions is another subject altogether.

    The repsonsibility of the family to the elderly parents is discussed first. The "read" scripture is 1 Timothy 5:4, 8, 16:

    "But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let these learn first to practice godly devotion in their own household and to keep paying a due compensation to their parents and grandparents, for this is acceptable in God's sight.

    Certainly if anyone does not provide for those who are his own, and especially for those who are members of his household, he has disowned the faith and is worse than a person without faith.

    If any believing woman has widows, let her relieve them, and let the congregation not be under the burden. Then it can relieve those who are actually widows."



    Paragraphs 10 and 11 stand out to me:

    "Full-time servants whose theorcratic assignments have taken them far from home may face particularly difficult decisions. Those serving as Bethelites, missionaries, and traveling overseers all view their assignment as precious, as a blessing from Jehovah. Still, if their parents get sick, the first reaction might be, 'We need to leave our assignment and return home to look after our parents.' Yet, it would be wise to consider prayerfully whether that is what the parents really need or desire. No one should hastily give up service privileges, and it may not always be necessary. Could the health issue be temporary, one with which some in the parents' congregation would be happy to help?

    Consider, for example, the case of two fleshly brothers who served far from home. One was a missionary in South America, the other worked at world headquarters, in Brooklyn, New York. The brothers' elderly parents needed help. The sons and their wives visited the parents in the Far East to see what help could best be provided and how. In time, the couple in South America were weighing leaving their assignment to return home. Then they received a telephone call from the coordinator of the body of elders in the parents' congregation. Those elders had discussed the situation and wanted the missionaries to continue in their assignment as long as possible. The elders appreciated this couple's service and were determined to do all they could to help them care for their parents. All in the family appreciated the loving concern."



    The message that I got from reading these two paragraphs was that the top priority was to keep going in the missionary assignment. The care of the elderly parents came in second. Personally, I have a hard time "getting my head around" that one, mentally speaking. These are the two people who have brought children into the world and made sacrifices to raise them - sleepless nights, cleaning up after the children after they have been sick, changed diapers, gone to work to provide food, shelter and clothing, sent them to school, etc. One would think that surely the children could be there to care for the elderly parents in their time of need. (I know that the health needs of elderly parents vary and every situation is different. Decisions that affect the welfare of family members have to be made carefully and all factors need to be considered.)


    Paragraph 12 goes on to say:

    "Whatever strategy a Christian family adopts to care for the needs of elderly parents, all concerned will certainly want to make sure that it reflects well on God's name. Never would we want to be like the religious leaders in Jesus' day. We want our decisions to honor God and the congregation."

    The scripture at Matthew 15:3-6 is cited in paragraph 12, but not quoted. It reads: "In reply he said to them: "Why is it you also overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition? For example, God said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Let him that reviles father or mother end up in death.' But you say, "Whoever says to his father or mother: "Whatever I have by which you might get benefit from me is a gift dedicated to God," he must not honor his father at all.' And so you have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition."

    It looks to me as if paragraph 12 (with the cited scripture from Matthew 15:3-6) contradicts what is written in paragraphs 10 and 11.



    The study article goes on to speak about the responsibility that the congregation has towards its elderly members. (I have been in a couple of congregations where this responsibility has been carried out in a diligent and loving manner, displaying personal interest. The congregation where I am now, does not do well in this regard - your value as a member of the congregation is measured by your "performance.")



    In paragraph 15, the article notes that "the elders can assist the elderly members and act as the children's "eyes." The article also mentions how the elders can "observe situations such as unopened bills or mismanaged medication." This is easy to say but, do the elders realise what level of commitment is required in providing such care?

    For example, with the subject of medication - a person would have to be committed to visit on a daily basis to ensure that the medication is taken. What if the medication is meant to be taken several times a day? Who will be coming to visit to ensure that each dose is taken on time? Would an elder know how to recognise the signs of a medication overdose? Medication incidents are common and they result in patients having to go to the Emergency Room at the hospital.

    Also, some medicines are therapeutic when taken at moderate levels. The same medicine can become toxic to the body if taken in high doses (this can occur if a patient takes a "double dose" by accident.) That situation can occur if a patient has taken a dose of medicine, but then becomes unsure if they remembered to take it, so they take a second dose to "make sure." This results in over-dosing.

    And that's just one area of care. Whoever takes on the role of being the children's "eyes" will need to have their wits about them and be committed to providing care continually.

    Wallflower
     
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    jehovahisgod

    jehovahisgod Experienced Member

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    I agree in full that's how it should work like you showed from the bible...but what happens a lot is that the kids get everything they can from mom and dad and grandma and grandpa then they move away and leave their elders to get old and live on social security! I wish I had the opportunity to go back in time so I could render help and support for my aged instead of using them like stepingstones
     

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