The Elderly and Showing Respect

Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD. Lev 19:32

By Karin McBride-Chenoweth

One of the most vulnerable members of any society or community is the elderly man or woman. In today’s world, they have been sidelined by other more deserving ‘categories’. The care for the elderly is woefully inadequate in our communities and whenever one reaches a certain age, they tend to ‘fade’ into the background unnoticed, ignored and with suggestions of Euthanasia from some sectors it is a sure sign that the sanctity of life values that we all once new and held so dear are being carefully eroded and even more sadly we are allowing it to…

Many years ago I had the privilege to keep an ‘eye on’ my elderly Grandmother. I noticed that she had an amazing work ethic and dedication to her family. She would get up at the same time every morning, bake fresh bread, scones and cakes and would build up an amazing array of such throughout the day for her family members.

My mother and father worked full-time as professionals but ‘Nannie’ was always at home with a bowl of hot broth waiting for me. When I got off the school bus – she was there. Her freshly baked Irish wheaten bread smothered in melted butter, was the perfect side!

The care and love she demonstrated in a very tangible way, was always there. She never sought anything in return. This was Nannie’s place. Her life. She had built and worked so very hard to create a loving family home, on her own, for many years. Our home would never be the same without her…

So what did Nannie and all the other Nannie’s out there create? They created the most precious entity to God – the family. Not only did they help to create it but they maintained it and nurtured it – they passed down to all of us good wholesome values, generation to generation from the Bible.

As I was a ‘late baby,’ I only really ever recall my Grandmother as elderly. However, for the first 21 years of my life that she was alive, she taught me to respect others, especially the older member of society. Not only did Nannie have a wealth of cooking talent she was one of the best embroiderers ever! She possessed a wealth of knowledge and a love of Jesus that witnessed to me in later years.

When she saw the grass in the garden, she didn’t just see the grass she saw the greenness of it, and taught me how to appreciate all God’s beautiful creatures and what He had created for us…

I am sure you have an elderly member of your family right now…do you spend time with them, sharing, showing love and comfort, and helping to take away their loneliness. One of the things my Grandmother shared just prior to passing away was that she was so grateful that I could spend the time with her that I did, as she would have been so lonely otherwise. Jesus teaches us through the Word to have compassion on the weak. We are also taught to respect the elderly. The Hebrew word for ‘respect’ is ‘Kavod’ which means in Hebrew – means to honor.

Therefore, we are required by God to honor the elderly, Lev 19:32. To honor is a noun defined as Glory or recognition; distinction, esteemed.

It is written that ‘God is not mocked’ Gal 6:7 therefore the spirit of mockery goes alongside humiliation and we must never allow ourselves to fall foul to this deception.

Through His Word in Leviticus God is very clear where He stands with regard to the elderly, and where we ought to stand also…