When I was feeling disheartened about caregiving because everyone was telling me to ‘put my grandma in a home,’ I turned to the Bible to give me hope and encouragement to know that I was doing the right thing. Turns out, that the Word of God has a lot to say about the responsibility of taking care of your loved ones. Welcome to the third study in my series of devotionals about the Biblical imperative for caregiving.
It’s hard caregiving in a world where everyone is out for themselves. At times it can feel like you’re following a different set of rules.
In our culture, people are always looking to someone else.
Someone else to hold accountable.
Someone else to blame.
Someone else to accept responsibility.
Someone else to hold the answers.
I know when I started taking care of my grandma, I sought help from every place I could possibly think of outside myself. I just knew my close friends and family would jump right into the trenches with me. When I found myself all alone, drowning in caregiving obligations, holding down my job, and trying to maintain my sanity, I blamed my close ties for abandoning me.
I have to admit, I couldn’t be bothered to look up, either.
Sadly, it wasn’t till almost the end I realized that I never needed “someone else.”
Dear heart, only God has the power to make our way straight. When we stop looking to ourselves and everyone else and relying on God as our primary source of support, it becomes glaringly obvious how He makes a way out of no way for us, day in and day out. We can’t expect God to smooth our paths unless we are committed to being like Jesus and living rightly.
Romans 15:1-7 ESV
The Example of Christ
1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
God’s word tells us in black and white that we are to put others above ourselves. Here and in countless other places, we are instructed to look after the least of these, love our brother, care for our widows, and help our neighbors.
Sometimes in life, you have to make sacrifices. The sacrifices we make are nothing when we think about what Jesus has done for us.
You can feel confident that you are following Jesus and glorifying God when you are caring for a loved one because we are commanded to carry the burdens of others. Even when it isn’t easy. Even when it isn’t pretty. Even when it isn’t popular.