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The elderly can be seen as burdens rather than blessings. Sometimes we are quick to forget the sacrifices our parents made for us when they are in need of care themselves. Instead of taking them into our homes—whenever that is safe and feasible—we put them in retirement communities or nursing homes, sometimes against their will. We may not value the wisdom they have acquired through living long lives, and we can discredit their advice as “outdated.”

When we honor and care for our parents, we are serving God as well. The Bible says,

The church should care for any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God very much….But those who won’t care for their own relatives, especially those living in the same household, have denied what we believe. Such people are worse than unbelievers

(1 Timothy 5:3-4, 8)

  • Philemon 9 — 9 yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of the Messiah Jesus—
  • Job 32:6–7 — 6 So Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite spoke out and said, “I am young in years and you are old; Therefore I was shy and afraid to tell you what I think. 7 “I thought age should speak, And increased years should teach wisdom.
  • 1 Kings 12:6–8 — 6 King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?” 7 Then they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8 But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him.
  • Job 12:12 — 12 “Wisdom is with aged men, With long life is understanding.
  • Job 15:10 — 10 “Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us, Older than your father.