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 :
- Bring homemade food, or order in, and share a meal with them
- Bring a small child or children to visit them (children make older people smile! but be careful not to tire them out)
- Shovel, rake, mow–if they still live in their own home and have to do these things–and take them grocery shopping
- Run errands: for instance, you could pick up their prescriptions for them
- Play table games together, such as Scrabble, Dominos, or Phase 10
- Put a jigsaw puzzle together with them
- Play instruments or sing for them (ask them what are their favorite “oldies but goodies”)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.”