To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Time for Senior Saints

The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head. 
~Proverbs 20:29

Let me explain to you what you will see when you walk into our church, the church we've been
members of for 10 years now. You will find a few families in their 50's & 60's, you will see our family and then you will see what the Bible calls the "grey head" and what we call our "senior saints". The majority of our membership is in their 70's & 80's, and while for some young families that would send them looking for a different, younger church, for us we have come to understand the blessing of being members of a church such as ours. With our senior saints comes a wisdom from a lifetime of experience and advice from a lifetime of decision making. With our senior saints comes the history of the church and a world gone by. To be wise means to recognize the precious gift we have in these senior saints and to take advantage of their knowledge while we still can; it's to build relationships with them and allow them to teach us. So many of these senior saints have shared with me stories of when they were raising their families. They teach me to not take life or myself too seriously because life is too short for that. They teach me to appreciate the days I have with my children, even the hard ones, because the days are fleeting and when they're all gone I'll be longing for those days again. 

I would be foolish to tell them they are wrong because they have lived and I am just beginning to. To think I know better than them is foolish because they have experience I lack. To treat them as though they have nothing to offer me is foolish because in reality they have everything to offer me. Like their prayers for one. There are no prayer warriors more faithful then our senior saints. While some young families run from the "grey head", we have learned to see the beauty in it and to appreciate all they have to offer us, and our children.

Our children. To reflect on the relationship my children have built with the senior saints in our church causes me to well up. It has been such a beautiful thing to watch. Each of my children has built special bonds with certain senior saints in our church; they run up to them when they see them and
offer hugs, they beg to sit with them on Sunday evenings, they ask if we can please invite them to their birthday celebrations. I believe too many young people are lacking a relationship with this older generation. I am so close to my grandparents and it is hard for me now to live so far away from them. It is hard for me that my children rarely see their own grandparents because of the distance. The relationships my kids are building with our senior saints is making up for that though and they are blessed to have so many in our church who love on them like they were their own grandchildren. They pray for them, they want to know what their interests are, they ask them how school is going, they compliment them when they have a new haircut or outfit on, and they spoil them like crazy! In return my children commit to praying for our senior saints and send them pictures and letters throughout the year. They sit with them in church, when they don't have anyone else to sit with. And sometimes they have to say goodbye. 

That is the thing with belonging to a church with an aging generation. We have to say goodbye often and that can be very hard. Though we know we will see them again someday, we are sad because we miss them. Just a couple weeks ago we had to say goodbye to one senior saint who was such an encouragement to us. Some senior saints we have lost we think about on a daily basis, like Mrs. E. We have had to say goodbye (or see ya later, actually!) to 2-3 of these precious saints a year for the past 5 or so years now. As hard as it is to say goodbye, the blessings far outweigh our sadness when
they go. Sure it would be would be really nice actually, if there were families our age in the church with other children for our own kids to become friends with but what we have received from our senior saints is a gift we will treasure. Our churches need the young families because they are the future of the church but the future of the church needs the wisdom and experience of the past and when we neglect that generation and treat them like they have nothing to offer we become fools. If you have senior saints in your church but you have not taken the time to reach out to them, I encourage you to do that. You have no idea what a blessing it will be to you! 

1 comment:

  1. Great Post. I completely agree. The people in that church are amazing. The intergenerational church family is so important. It is hard to find a church out there that does it as well as North Lebanon.