Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Prov 20 : 29 Respect is a two way street

Pro 20:29  The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

"That younger generation! What's the matter with kids today?"

"Sheesh!  What in the world do old people know....they're sitting around listening to their arteries hardening."


The young and the old. Has it always been this way? Absolutely.
Is it worse now than it used to be? Probably.
Is there anything that can be done about it? You betcha.

Solomon notes here that each age group has their virtues: the young have strength and exuberance, and the aged have wisdom born of experience.  I think the implication here was captured quite well by Matthew Henry when he said,

         "Let neither of them despise nor envy each other..."

Young people are strong and fit, and can tackle difficulties and obstacles that older folks find daunting. Of course, they need to be careful not to give way to prideful attitudes, nor to trust totally in their own strength, but be grateful to God for their vitality and health.
Paul said to Timothy, who was younger than he was:
    Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.   (I Timothy 4:12)
Older folks can usually be trusted for counsel and advice, and need to be gracious when dispensing it, not looking down on the younger one who seeks out their experience and wisdom.
Paul had some sound words for them, as well:
    That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.  The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness....
    In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,  sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.   (Titus 2:2-3a, 7-8)
Did you notice the two words that I highlighted there? Paul is telling both the young and the old to be examples to other Christians . . . and the traits they should model are very similar.  Do you think perhaps he recorded one of the first formulas to resolve the generation gap?

3 comments:

Belinda said...

It's always been important to me and my husband, to set good examples for our children growing up, and even now that they are grown. They seek our advice a lot of the time. But, I do have to say that they sometimes get a little frustrated with our inability to do the physical things we used to do. And as the brain ages...ugh...they don't have much patience with our brain drains. LOL.

Our grandson is a sponge right now, so we have the task of being an example to him. May we be in a pattern of good works, attitude, and love.

Carrie P. said...

From a very young age my children have been around all age groups. I homeschooled them and we were involved in many things. A lot had to do with being around older people. Now that my children are older they can relate to older people and not be afraid of them like so many young people are these days.
Now that my husband and I are in that older group we have become marriage mentors so that we can lead young couple to have a good marriage.
Mentoring is a good thing for all ages. Paul knew what he was talking about with a little help from the Holy Spirit. lol

Hillbilly Tonya said...

It is important. While my daughter has been around all generations, my son really has not. He actually has learned to be quite disrespectful to the older generation. (he did not learn it from our home.) It is a constant battle with him. I sure hope he read this post today. He's supposed to read them daily :)