So, You Think You’re Too Old to Serve?
Posted by February 7, 2017on
Do you think you are over the hill and too old to be of use to God? Is that really the case, or can older people still show love to others through service?
There are many ways to serve the Church, even when you are older. As we age, we can’t always serve in the same ways that we did when we were younger. There is a time to step down from certain duties to let younger people have an opportunity. But what can you do now that you are a senior?
Let’s look at an example from the Old Testament.
In the book of Ruth, Naomi is a woman of great character and love. She and her husband and sons fled Judah to escape a famine, eventually settling in Moab. There, in Moab, they made a life. Her sons married, and it seems they had a peaceful life for a while. That is, until her husband and sons died.
Naomi decided to return to her hometown to live out the remainder of her life. She told her daughters-in-law to go back to their families. But one of them, Ruth, would not leave her. Ruth clung to Naomi, and Naomi was glad to have her by her side. Remember, she had lost everything and was old now. It was time for Naomi to “serve” in a different way.
In Bethlehem, she guided and advised Ruth on how to conduct herself and taught her the laws and statutes of the true God. She had Ruth’s well-being foremost in her thoughts. She came to love her daughter-in-law as her own daughter.
She began her journey discouraged and with great sadness, but eventually God blessed her with a new family and a grandson who would be in the bloodline of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Read the book of Ruth to learn how God provided this for her!
What lessons can we learn from Naomi?
Just as Naomi was a helper and adviser to Ruth, the older women in God’s Church can be helpers and advisers to the younger women (Ruth 2:20, 22; Titus 2:3-5).
Naomi enjoyed caring for her grandson, and there are times when older women can help young women take care of their children (Ruth 4:16). Perhaps you can help with the Sabbath school at services or share your experiences in training your children to play quietly in services. There are things you can teach them. And you just might find that they have things to teach you.
Many occasions call for a nice warm blanket, hat or scarf. If you have the ability to make these kinds of things, they come in handy for young people to wear at Winter Family Weekend, at Winter Camp or anywhere it’s cold (Proverbs 31:21). You may be surprised at what kind of bond a simple handmade gift like this can build between you and a younger member.
As Naomi helped, advised and cared for Ruth and her family, older women in the Church can continue to serve in a valuable capacity as grandmothers and great-grandmothers to the youth in our Church. So remember, you’re never too old to serve.
For more insight into aging, read our articles under “Aging: The Challenges and Opportunities.”