Last month we discussed monthly challenges for the singles. For the month of June we would like to bring up the subject of the elderly. How often do we see the media or entertainment industry show much respect to the elderly? Are we allowing the worlds lack of respect to rub off on us? Do we find ourselves too content with our own peers that we dare not venture over to the elderly?
God’s Church is blessed with many experienced members in the body of Christ. These are members who have been through far more than we have. They have more stories to tell, lessons we can learn, and wisdom to give. Job 12:12 reads, “With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.” Are we as singles taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge that we are near every week at services? As of 2012 one in every three members are over 65 years of age. That is one third of the church of God. I would venture to say that every single that is reading this has an elderly person in their congregation. Every week we are given a chance to further educate ourselves through the experience of another.
Do we take advantage of that? For the single men you can talk to the older men in the congregation; ask them about how they found themselves in the career that they built a family on. For the single women they can ask the older woman how it was to start a family. Not only can we gain so much from the minds of the elderly; we are giving to them as well. Above fellowshipping with the elderly in our congregations, we can also help them outside of services in some cases. As it is with God’s way of life, when we give and serve others with a right attitude God sees this as if it was done to Christ (Matthew 25:35-40).
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). Do we truly realize the importance of caring for others? James describes this as pure religion. How we treat the elderly and others that may be at a disadvantage shows a measurement of our conversion. Also notice the word “visit”. Strong Concordance defines it as “to look upon or after; examine; in order to see how he is; to visit; to go see the poor and afflicted.” We can do this primarily through fellowship. Going to the older brethren and getting to know them. The best way to start building a relationship is to simply make a point to say hello to them every services. In time that should lead to finding out more about them.
Here are a few specifics taken from Jason Cocomise’s article titled “Encourage the Elderly ” to help in supporting the elderly:
- Talk to the elderly! Whether it be on the phone, face to face.
- Make it a real goal to talk to at least one senior each Sabbath.
- Bring a friend or a parent with you to make help you overcome your nerves.
- Listen to what they have to say. Let them tell you about their experiences.
- Tell them about you. They want to hear how you are doing, how school is going, etc.
- Write them a letter or card of encouragement
- Take them out on a special outing. It could be to a coffee shop, the park or a simple walk.
Let us singles strive to make the most out of the congregational family God has given us. Let us do our part to support the elderly and strengthen Gods church.