Our parents are often the most important influencers in our lives. As such, our relationships with them can significantly impact the quality and even quantity of our years.
I recently laid my mother to rest. She fought a long battle with illness and at every step along the way she attempted to fend off death and embrace whatever ray of light the new day brought her way. Prior to her passing, I also laid my father to rest. He too had a great determination to live and tried to dedicate his last days to a most worthy cause.
The Reward of Honoring Your Parents
I am sure that many of you have also had a similar experience with your parents or know of others who have. You understand the tremendous stress, strain, and fear of facing the demise of a loved one. It can wear you down and make life feel like a burden you are anxious to cast off. Yet the Bible tells us that caring for a parent can have the opposite effect. In the Fifth Commandment, it says:
“Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20.11; Deuteronomy 5:15)
Can caring for an ailing parent actually increase the length of your own life? I think it can. Here’s how:
An Opportunity to Honor
It’s no secret that mental anguish and emotional disturbance can negatively affect your health. Unresolved conflict, resentments, and anger, among other destructive emotions, have the power to cause illness. If ignored or not treated properly, they can even lead to death. Such is the poison of unfinished business.
It seems that a common and primary source of our unfinished business is our relationship with our parents. Father issues, mother issues, problems with each of them and with both of them, stretching over decades. What a burden to carry!
But then they reach their final stage of life and they become the dependent one. You now step into a caregiver role and have the responsibility to be there for them and take care of them. As a result, all the unfinished business often comes rushing to the forefront. This unique time is a prime opportunity to unload past issues and work through them as you attempt to give your parents the honor they deserve.
When you take these steps, you become clean of the poisons that can harm your life. You free yourself of the mental and emotional hazards that can cut your life short and you restore your potential for a naturally long life.
Have you experienced something similar? Are you currently going through this kind of situation? I’d love to hear your story.