Notes from El Salvador
A Guest Message From Pastor Emely in El Salvador
AGE OF WISDOM
Titus 2:2-5 - Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance. Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.
Deuteronomy 5:16 - Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
These texts call us to care for the elderly among us and to educate our children so that our society will be able to say "Reaching old age is an honor; gray hair is the crown that is earned by being honored."
Pan de Vida Lutheran Church, dedicated the last Sunday of January to a celebration of the age of wisdom. We commit ourselves to quality of life for these persons; they have gifts and abilities and deserve our support.
Wisdom does not consist of giving advice; instead wisdom helps others to find their own light. Their performance is not a matter of beautiful and long speeches; sometimes a deep and heartfelt look is enough. According to the Bible, the elderly can provide guidance to their family if they have the values that Titus speaks to.
In Deuteronomy, honoring elders is law. It is good to work against the tendency, so widespread today, of ignoring, marginalizing and even abandoning the elderly. In reality, young people, adults and the elderly need each other.
Older adults have certain traits acquired from either a biological point of view (natural changes), social (interpersonal relationships) or psychological (experiences and circumstances faced during their lives). They are symbols of status, prestige and a source of wisdom. Because of their long life, they are usually treated with great respect and even identified as teachers or counselors in certain cultures. In some countries, the lives of older adults become very difficult as they lose employment opportunities, experience reduced social activity and, in the worst cases, are excluded from their families.
Today, in some Salvadoran families, older adults experiencing poverty are exploited in order to obtain income and support for other members of the family. We need to guide our people so that our adults receive better care and that their last days are of rest and not of despair.
Senior citizens deserve a lifestyle where they can enjoy their family, do the things they like, eat a balanced diet and engage in exercise that will help them counteract the worst effects of aging. Finally reaching this stage of life is a privilege that few have; for this reason, when you become an adult you need a positive and happy attitude.
In Christ, Pastor Emely Chavez