Responsibility of Adult Children
Judah is speaking to Joseph -
Genesis 44:30-32 "And now, my lord, I cannot go back to my father without the boy... If he sees that the boy is not with us, our father will die... My lord, I guaranteed to my father that I would take care of the boy. I told him 'If I don't bring him back to you, I will bear the blame forever.' "
In this part of the continuing story of Joseph and his brothers, we see Judah taking on the responsibility of safely taking Benjamin back to his father. At this point the brothers are adults but Judah still feels responsible for the well-being of his dad. We don't know why the burden has fallen on Judah, but I think many of us can relate to the pressure of pleasing our parents and being sure they are cared for, even as adults. What does the bible have to say about the responsibility of adult children toward their parents?
1 Tim 3-4 Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.
When we honor and care for our parents, we serve God well. We should never allow the cares of the world to overshadow the things that are most important—serving God through serving people, especially the people in our own families.
I want to acknowledge that caring for elderly parents can be a difficult and sometimes exhausting task. Fortunately we live in a time with many options available to help take care of our parents. Their needs vary widely and change with time. I think that one universal need is time with us. Inviting them to be actively involved in the activities of our lives for as long as they are physically able. When they are not able, giving as much time and care as you can. If you are not physically near your parents then use a telephone or facetime or even text and email to keep in touch. Continue to let them know they are cared for and they are important. I've never heard anyone say, after their parent has passed, "I wish I hadn't spent so much time with mom/dad."
Taking care of our parents will look different for each family and each set of circumstances, but time together is a universal way to show you care.