Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
OLD AGE THAT COMBINES FAITH AND EXPERIENCEEphesians 6 :1-9
Vs 2 "honor thy father and mother"
In various books and chapters, the Bible refers to the parent-child relationship. One of the best is in the book of Ephesians chapter six stating: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth”
Role of Seniors and Grandparents
In my past years in USA, I have met many empty nesters (I am also one among them) whose children have grown up and moved out to attend schools or start new jobs. Many stated that they feel lonely at times, and some even went to the extend of stating that they feel of no value to the children anymore and the children seldom call or stop by. The first-generation immigrants from Kerala are used to the so-called “Koottu Kudumbam” where the parents, grandparents, grand children all lived under the same roof and mutually and sincerely looked after for the physical and emotional wellness of all within the household. As times went by, this setup has changed into the modern “nuclear family” setup where only the parents and young children lives under the same roof. Today, the nuclear family setup is much more common than the ‘big family living together’ concept.
Grandparents and seniors in the house acts as a cushion to minimize friction within the family, and also the grandchildren have indirectly benefitted from this arrangement. When one of the parents get angry and upset with a child, he or she was comforted with warm words and close hugs from the grandpa or grandma. In todays set up of nuclear family where there is only the father, mother and children within one household, the upset child runs to his or her room and closes the door and try to attain self-comfort from emotional dreams, media, or other worldly aspects. This temporary patching when repeated, will impact the child’s development and wellness in many ways. As we are well aware, human touch is of great value in comforting a grieving soul.
Grandparents can relate more directly by telling stories and sharing family and cultural traditions. Grandparents are also in a unique position to reinforce limits and lessons established by parents while also listening, wiping away tears, and showing their grandchild that they understand and empathize in needed situations.
The lived experience and wisdom of grandparents can be especially helpful, calming in moments of parental frustration or panic. studies have shown that having actively-involved grandparents can help children grow confidence, cope with stress and have fewer behavioral issues as they get older. The attention, interaction and unconditional love from grandparents (and parents, of course) helps a young child feel safe and secure, and that’s what they need for healthy emotional and physical development.
Seniors are experienced teachers, no matter what their past professional background or education, because they have lived in a world of complexity and competitions and surpassed all that to reach their age. Those life lessons are of immense value and to make use of those experiences and skills is important when it comes to social living.
Heavenly Father, help us to realize the useful values of our seniors and let us make use of those experiences in positive ways to help our younger generation attain thy wisdom and Godly blessings for their continued success in the society.
Thought for the Day
Treat the elderly as a nonrenewable resource.
Dr. Eapen Daniel, Philadelphia
Christos Mar Thoma Church