“The fear of the Lord adds length to life.” Pr 10:27 NIV
Our culture venerates rock stars and sports figures, yet often marginalizes its most knowledgeable and seasoned people. How foolish! As God’s family we should treat one another according to His values. Consider how He wants us to regard our aged: (1) We must honor them. “Show respect for the elderly and revere your God” (Lev 19:32 NIV). Notice, it’s a commandment, not an option. Failing to respect the elderly is failing to respect God; it bears the divine, not the cultural signature! So remember it and teach it to your children: “A gray head is a crown of glory; it is found in the way of righteousness” (Pr 16:31 NAS). (2) We must encourage them. Encouraging them doesn’t mean patronizing, babying and doing everything for them. These behaviors destroy their dignity and disempower them. Encouraging them means believing in their God-given abilities and emphasizing their positive, productive qualities. It means motivating them to stay involved in significant service, not just busying them with meaningless and humiliating “make-work.” They feel like they’re making a difference when their skills and wisdom are recognized. (3) We must support them. This includes financial and material assistance offered according to practical, biblical guidelines. (See 1Ti 5:1-16). Failing here means we’ve “denied the faith and [are] worse than an unbeliever” (v. 8 NKJV). Support means including them in as a vital part of our family and church activities. Supporting them also requires that we regularly talk to God about them and their needs.
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