If you are at a church context where there are people who are 10, 15 or more years older than you be very grateful. The church was never meant to be mono-generational. Titus 2 speaks to older men and women, young men and women, and children. That is three generation. There ought to be people in your church who are so much older than you that you feel a cultural and generational difference. They are there for you to learn from and to give to.
1. Learn life skills from those who have life experience
Because you are to learn from those who are generationally different. You are to learn from them those things that are gained only through age and life experience. Titus says that younger women are to learn how to love their husbands and children. These are life skills that come with age and experience.
One of the unfortunate byproduct of technology is that it de-values those who are older. But Titus doesn’t tell the older men to teach younger men how to snapchat or tweet. Rather, you are to learn about life from them.
2. Learn to be told no from those who have been longer
Another great value in being with older people in the church is that you can learn how to be told no. One of the best things you can learn at a young age is to be content when you are told no. One of the best ways to develop maturity is to be told no and you respond with patience and humility. One of the worst things that can happen to your character is when you run from those types of context, and so no one can say no to you.
It doesn’t mean that older people are always right. But 1 Timothy 5 talks about how you disagree with older people, which is different from how we disagree with younger people.
Pastor Steve Chang is the Lead Pastor of Living Hope Community Church and a board member of Crossroads Campus Ministries.