Timely Tips on Tuesday: Honor and Ministry to the Elderly

I asked the Lord what He wanted me to blog about this week, and I felt led to talk about loving and honoring older folk, our elders.

Leviticus 19:32 says, Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.”

The hoary head is a grey-haired person (oh dear, that would include me!) Seriously, though, this teaches us to show honor to older people, as a way of showing that we recognize that God is the Lord and we fear Him.

Showing love and honor to older folk is also a great way to teach children kindness and giving, and practice these character qualities as a family.  God is so good, though, because when you practice kindness and giving, you are the one most blessed, always.
Here are 10 Tips, or ideas of things which you and your children can do together for an older person to make them feel included, loved, honored, and cared for :

  1. Bring homemade food, or order in, and share a meal with them
  2. Bring a small child or children to visit them (children make older people smile! but be careful not to tire them out)
  3. Shovel, rake, mow–if they still live in their own home and have to do these things–and take them grocery shopping
  4. Run errands:  for instance, you could pick up their prescriptions for them
  5. Play table games together, such as Scrabble, Dominos, or Phase 10
  6. Put a jigsaw puzzle together with them
  7. Play instruments or sing for them (ask them what are their favorite “oldies but goodies”)
  8. Read Scripture to them and/or sing hymns with them:  find out their favorites (they almost certainly know these by heart, so they can sing along)
  9. Invite them to stay at your home for a night or two and/or enlist their help with a project or work at your home: for instance, they can peel potatoes or husk corn on the cob for a meal, or peel and cut up apples for pies, if they are able.
  10. Ask them to tell (or write) a story about their life in the past. Examples: how they celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving when they were young; their school days; what it was like if they were a school teacher in a one-room schoolhouse; what it was like before telephones, electricity and plumbing; or if they are not related to you, their grandchildren!
  11. Ask/interview them about their growing up, courtship, first job, first apartment or house, or just about “the old days.”

(Ok, I gave you one extra for good measure:)  You will want to be ready with a camcorder on the last two ideas, but what a treasure you will have.  Asking about their life and really listening is another way to say, “You are important to me.”  Showing love as a family in these ways teaches a child to have a giving heart, to think about someone other than himself, and to obey God’s command to “rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man.”
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6 Replies to “Timely Tips on Tuesday: Honor and Ministry to the Elderly”

  1. Sharon,
    I am sure you are a very bright spot in the day of all the people at the assisted living center! Bless you! And because of you, your children will be more inclined to be loving and kind, especially to old people (“A comfort to know as you get older,” she says with some knowledge of the subject herself:)
    As for the Christmas craziness, God slowed us down this week by 2 things: my easy-going father-in-law's visit……and getting sick! Not really, really sick, just not feeling very good, sore throat, but still wanted to lay around. Got some gift-wrapping done, though!

    Lena,
    Reminding you reminds me, as well:) A saying familiar at our church is “we are a forgetful people”! We need to hear the truths of the Bible over and over and over again, and practice them. I'm thankful for God's mercy and patience.
    And, as I said to Sharon, how we treat our parents, grandparents and the elderly, will be how they will be likely to treat US, as we get older–that's a wake-up call and motivation.
    Hope you're remembering Christ in the midst of all the busyness of the season,
    Wendy

  2. Thank you for a great reminder. We often forget to be extra nice to the elderly. Its all in how we teach our children, thats how they will treat the grandparents and everyone else. 🙂

  3. Great advice, Wendy. As you might remember, I am part of a weekly ministry to an assisted living facility for the elderly. It's a blessing beyond compare. God has much to teach all of us through His precious older ones.

    I had a wonderful day with my own elderly parents a couple of weeks ago. It was really a special time as they remembered so many great moments from the “good old days!”

    Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that the impending Christmas holidays are keeping you out of trouble!! LOL!

    GOD BLESS!

  4. Annette,
    Yes, of course, you may link to this post or reprint part of it. All I ask is that you include a link to my blog. I suppose that I did get some of these thoughts from having Jerry's dad here with us these days–it's SUCH a blessing!
    Give and you will be given, pressed down, shaken together……
    a thousand times more than you give.
    Wendy

  5. Wendy,
    This was an excellent posting!
    May I use it~ link to it~ or something, sometime soon?
    Did you get some of the points from Jerry's dad while he is there visiting???
    Keep pressing onward and upward,
    Annette

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