So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, bowed down, and kissed him. And they asked each other about their well-being, and they went into the tent. And Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and how the Lord had delivered them.
Rodney Dangerfield is the original “I don’t get no respect” man. No matter how hard he tries, to hear the comedian tell it, no one shows him any respect. Some of the elderly could voice the same complaint. As more people are living longer, they are becoming the victims of everything from physical abuse to con artists’ scams.
This differs significantly from the respect Moses showed his father-in-law. Even though Moses was the leader of a great host of people, he bowed before Jethro as a sign of humility and kissed him as a sign of affection. And in the midst of the many needs of a demanding people, he took time to share with Jethro all the events that had transpired since he had seen him last.
As we deal with the elderly, we must do so with patience and compassion. Most of them have made significant sacrifices to raise their families, to defend their country and to make an honest living. In their golden years they deserve to be treated with respect.
If you have elderly parents, take time to be involved in their lives. Listen to their stories (even if you’ve heard then a hundred times before); sympathize with their aches and pains; look for opportunities to make their lives a little easier.
If your parents are no longer alive, perhaps there is an elderly neighbor or someone at church who could benefit from your attention. We are not judged by how we treat the strong and powerful but by how we respect the weak and helpless.
Besides, having made an investment of time and interest in an elderly person, you may discover that the return on your investment was greater than the investment itself.
TREAT THE ELDERLY AS A NONRENEWABLE RESOURCE; THEY ARE!