I was on the internet the other day and fell for one of those silly stories about aging movie and television stars. As I scrolled through the young vs aging photos and read the author’s cutting remarks it struck me that this is how the world views aging. The author was a woman and she would make the rudest and most unkind remarks about the way stars have aged. Sometimes she said they had used too much Botox or that plastic surgery had not done a good job. She remarked about how some had gained way too much weight. She was trying to be funny and smart but to me she just sounded mean-spirited. How sad. If I believed what this woman was implying I would think that only the young deserve to live and that as we age we need to hide ourselves away from the public view. I am so thankful that God has a different view on aging than that of the world. I want to look at some of my favorite scriptures about aging.
The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair. Proverbs 20:29, (English Standard Version or ESV).
The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short. Proverbs 10:27, (ESV).
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31, (ESV).
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Proverbs 3:1-2, (ESV).
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Proverbs 3:13-17, (ESV).
And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 1 Kings 3:14, (ESV).
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16, (ESV).
This is only a sampling of the many scriptures that talk about aging. I am so glad that God approves of aging. If you think about it God designed us to age and to become wiser as we age if we submit to His will and learn the things of God! I am thankful that God doesn’t think of my getting older as a bad thing. I am thankful that God approves of my gray hair and aging bones. I am thankful that I will never be obsolete in God’s eyes. Beauty is fleeting…hm, that sounds like another of my favorite scriptures.
“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:29-30, (ESV).
Beauty fades and so does charm. All the Botox in the world can’t make a person look better for long. Aging comes to us all at some point in our lives but if a woman fears the Lord, she shall be praised! I love that! Don’t you? So how are Christians to act as we age? Are we to follow the world and hang on to youth or what?
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:1-14, (ESV).
I love this passage of scripture because it really spells out in detail how we are to act as aging Christians. We are never too old to teach someone else about the Christian lifestyle. I don’t know how you feel but I don’t think there is anything uglier than a man or woman going through a mid-life crisis! How silly men look when they try to hang on to their youth by dyeing their hair, dressing like a teenager, divorcing, swinging, drinking, and acting like they are nineteen! There is nothing worse than a woman who is middle-aged and dressing in short and tight dresses or wearing too much makeup or trying to act like she is in her teens. Sometimes I see Mothers of teenagers trying to hold on to their youth by acting as silly as their daughters. This always makes me think how sad the world’s ideas are about aging. I am always mindful of my age and how I dress. I don’t want to be nineteen or twenty. I don’t want to be forty or fifty once more either. I like my age and I feel comfortable wearing it and owning it!
Aging isn’t something to fear, like every other point of time in one’s life it is an adventure. I love my gray hair. I love my wrinkles. I even love my fat rolls. Most of all I think the best thing about aging is being a grandparent! Now that’s pure love! You know, being a Mother-in-law isn’t so bad either!