Jenna Worsham

Today’s Scripture: “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.” 1 Timothy 5:4, ESV

Theme: Provide for your parents and close family in their old age in order to please God.


I’ve found it is often easier to show godliness to others rather than my own. We have no long-standing history with others; we have no continuing connection; we have no holiday visits, birthday celebrations, or family drama with others. Yet, today’s Scripture from 1 Timothy reminds us: “Let them first learn to show godliness to their own household.” Before we can show others on the outside of our families what godliness looks like, we need to learn to live it out on the inside. This keeps us from being inauthentic. This keeps us honest about our motives. Boy, is it challenging!


How many people consider their parents good? I do, but they weren’t and aren’t perfect. I bet yours weren’t either. God’s command to “make some return” to our parents isn’t contingent on their good behavior. Often, we evaluate the current or previous actions of our parents or grandparents and then wonder if we really do owe them anything. The level of support is not zero and it doesn’t have to be full-time in-home care. However, consider this: Did they invest in me? Make some return. Did they contribute to my current level of success? Make some return. Why should we do this? It “is pleasing in the sight of God.”

Last week I drove 40 minutes to visit my ailing grandmother with my four-year-old in tow. My mom is out of town, and it was her request that I visit my grandmother. We had a good visit and even a walk outdoors in glorious weather. I had an hour with grandma and then drove home. It was a return (although a small one) and I know it honored my mother, my grandmother, and my God.


How can we support them? By dropping by to do a few chores. Making sure the car is running. Attending a medical appointment. Being in the waiting room. Driving your loved one home from a procedure. Throwing a birthday party and inviting the family when your grandparent has an 80th, 90th, or 100th birthday. We may not be able to do everything, but we can do something. Sometimes those offerings are easy to provide. Sometimes they are inconvenient or unappreciated. Sometimes they are met with complaints, confusion, or outright animosity. However, we know that when we care for our elderly family members, our gifts are honoring to God, even if no one else sees.

Make It Personal: How do you honor your own parents and grandparents? What return do you provide to them? Do you offer your care with the knowledge that it pleases God, not only the parent or family member you are serving? How does today’s passage affect your view of helping your parents?

Pray: Father God, Thank You for providing me with parents and caregivers throughout my life. I understand how much effort caring for me took and I want to honor those who came before me by showing godliness in my own household. Give me a pure heart and willing hands for the work and help me exhibit the kindness that is needed today. Thank You for my own grandparents, parents, children, and grandchildren. I understand You so much better when I have family relationships to test and grow my character. I want to please You. There is no way I can make a return for all You have provided, Lord. I know that. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Read: Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20; Proverbs 11:25;  2 Corinthians 9:10-12

Weekly Memory Verse: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.’” Ephesians 6:1-3, ESV