HONORING THE ELDERLY
“Even to your old age, I will be the same. And even to your greying years, I will bear you! I have done it! I will carry you! I will bear you, and I will deliver you!” (Isaiah 46:4)
My father had a few rough edges, but one positive thing that he passed on to me was a deep respect, maybe even admiration for the elderly. I remember traveling to exotic places like Holland Michigan, the Ice Follies in Chicago, or the Amana Colonies on my uncle’s charter tours. Every now and then I would experience the feeling of a hand slapping the back of my head. By the time I was a pre-teen, I learned that this familiar stinging sensation meant “Stop and Pay Attention!” Most of the time it involved letting an elderly person on the bus first, holding the door, or giving up my seat. I began to realize that these older people must be important, so I began to talk to them on these exotic adventures. I quickly found out that these grey-haired, glasses-wearing folks were some of the most interesting people that I had ever met.
Again, I would not say that my father was a frequent church attender, but every couple of months, he would volunteer to drive the church van to various nursing homes and care facilities to bring “shut-ins” to Sunday evening service. I began to ask him if I could come along. I really enjoyed pushing these elders in their wheel-chairs, listening to their stories, and helping them find the right hymn number during service. Also, I think that my Dad enjoyed sharing these times with me.
God, our Heavenly Father, desires that we honor the elderly as well. Here are a few verses from His Word that articulate this:
“You shall rise up before the gray-headed and honor aged, and you shall revere your God. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:32)
“Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father,… the older women as mothers…” (I Timothy 5:1-2)
“You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders, and all of you, clothe yourself with humility toward one another. God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble!” (I Peter 5:5)
I encourage anyone reading this to write a quick note, make a brief call, or even stop in for a short visit with an elderly person that you know. You will not only be blessed, but you will be honoring God!
Ambassador of Care