Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, and he said, “How do you advise me to answer these people?”
And they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”
But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. ~1 Kings 12:6-8
Rehoboam was the son of the wisest king who ever lived. He did not inherit his father’s wisdom however. When the people asked Rehoboam to lift the yoke that Solomon had put on them, he received counsel from both the elders who had served the former king, as well as the young men he had grown up with. Unfortunately, he discarded the advice of the former while accepting counsel which caused him to lose the majority of his kingdom.
I see this same trend today. Gone are the days when children looked up to their parents and grandparents. They are now influenced by peers, bloggers, or Hollywood. Now, I am a blogger so I’m not dissing blogs, but I do think if you’re going to look for parenting advice, for instance, it should be from someone who has successfully raised Godly children, not someone whose oldest child is four.
I always enjoyed spending time with my grandparents, listening to them, and observing them, so it saddens me that many today don’t see a need to spend time with their elders. I expect that is largely why morality has become old-fashioned, why marriages rarely last, why entertainment has replaced church, etc.
Young people, I encourage you to not take old people for granted. They may be in a different season of life, but they’ve no doubt learned a lot through the years that they would be happy to share. Plus you may find that they were young once too.
Older people, if you have a mindset in which you don’t want to be an example to younger generations, I hope you will ask God to change your heart. Although young people may not always know that they need input from their elders, they do just the same. Whether it’s a child, grandchild, or a young person in your church who needs a mentor, be available. Be willing to answer hard questions. Be honest. You’re not expected to know everything, but you may have more to offer than you realize. The Body of Christ consists of more than one age group. Both old and young are important. And I daresay you might be able to learn from the young ones too.