To respect elders may be unpopular in the secular world, but it’s still a vital part of what Christian parents need to teach their children.
Respect Elders: A Teen Perspective
Fifteen-year-old Caleb is about to get his driver’s license. For two years he’s been working at odd jobs to save for a car.
“Mom, can we look at cars tomorrow? It might take a while to find the right one.”
Kate is a single mom raising Caleb and his eleven-year-old sister. Her parents live on a farm not far out of town. She and her kids have a good relationship with “Pops and Gram,” and she often asks their advice when she makes decisions about her children.
Kate laughed. “I know you’re eager, Son, but let’s see if Pops can go with us on Saturday. Can you wait?”
“Aw Mom, that’s four days. What will he know about cars that we can’t figure out?
“Son, your granddad’s bought a lot of cars. Not only is it good to have one more opinion, but we need to respect the wisdom he’s acquired over the years. He might see something we miss.”
“He might want me to get some old grandpa car.”
“Caleb! That doesn’t sound respectful of your grandfather. We will wait to see if he can go with us Saturday. They’re coming for dinner Friday night. That would be a good time to talk to him about what kind of car you want. Just promise me you’ll listen to his suggestions. We’re not going to make you buy something you don’t want.”
Respect Elders to Prevent Repeating Past Mistakes
Kate is wise to teach her children to respect elders and the wisdom that comes with age. We live in a culture that defers to youth rather than age. By doing so, we often repeat mistakes of the past.
Throughout Scripture, we find references that tell us to respect elders. In Job, we read, Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? Job 12:12 NIV. If a generation must learn anew all that its fathers and grandfathers have learned, there is little time left to advance to new insights and understanding. And what a pity that will be.