I want to share a verse that will scare you: 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, especially members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” My in-laws are in their 90s and they're not doing too well. In fact, we had to move and live with them for a period of time to take care of them, love them, feed them, and help them get around. It was a major inconvenience to us. Our lives are different because my in-laws need our help. There are things that we would like to do that we can't because we need to help them. Sometimes we pray that God would take them home because heaven's pretty great and they would be better off there, but we also feel guilty because that would be easier on us too.
At the same time, I feel like it's such an honor to take care of them. It's an honor to help them in their old age because I want to take care of our relatives, the people in our household, as 1 Timothy says. There is a unique bond that’s formed between my wife, my in-laws, and myself. There’s this sense that we're going to get through this crisis together. We're going to end life with sanctity of life and dignity and hope, and with the confidence of our loved ones going to heaven.
You know, there's one other thing that happened to me and has surprised me. When I'm caring for my in-laws, my mother-in-law especially, I feel like I'm doing the right thing. I feel like I'm doing what I’ve been made and gifted to do. My wife has certain skills that she's able to apply to this situation, and I have different skills to apply. But the commonality is that it just feels right. And so, when you read 1 Timothy 5:8, it makes sense. Because when we take care of our own household—even when it's inconvenient, and not fun, even when it's difficult, and it zaps our energy—it's the right thing to do. There are other amazing verses in scripture about how older people give us wisdom, and we need to make sure that we listen to that wisdom. But, for me, I'm looking forward to helping my in-laws in this stage of life.