A Special Lesson for Families

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My blog post today is one close to my heart. It is also unusual because in it I share a Bible study lesson you might like to share with your children.

While preparing to teach a children’s Bible class recently, I decided to have them work on a service project for our local nursing home. The residents receive their meals on trays, so I took supplies to make place cards to go on their trays on Easter.

As I thought about the class, I realized that it would be good for the children to learn what God teaches us about honoring and taking care of older people. I told the children about Ray’s dad coming to live with us after his dad’s doctor told him that he thought that would be a good idea. Wes stayed with us until his death seven years later.

I told them that a few years after that, we were in the same situation a second time when my mother’s doctor said that she needed to change her living situation. Mother had already been coming for extended stays, but a day or two after that doctor’s visit, she moved in with us permanently.

I also told them about my friend Susan who cannot take care of her mom at home, but who calls the nursing home every day to check on her. She also visits her mom every other day and organizes a fun monthly activity for all of the residents there and attends many of the special functions that other folks plan for them.

The children took turns reading aloud passages about old age and about grandparents. Here are the passages, along with some thoughts about them.

God’s kind words in Isaiah 46 confirm His love and concern for older people, a love and concern He wants us to have, too.

Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you.
I have done it, and I will carry you;
And I will bear you and I will deliver you.
Isaiah 46:4

In the law of Moses, God commanded the Israelites to honor older people just before telling them to revere God Himself.

You shall rise up before the grayheaded
and honor the aged,
and you shall revere your God;
I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:32

In Psalms we learn about the Lord blessing the grandchildren of those who keep His covenant and obey His precepts.

But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from
everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them.
Psalm 103:18

In the New Testament, Paul’s letters to Timothy teach us how to honor older people and how to take care of them. In 1 Timothy chapter 5, Paul tells Timothy how he was to talk to older men.

Do not sharply rebuke an older man,
but rather appeal to him as a father,
to the younger men as brothers . . .
1 Timothy 5:1

In the first and third chapters of 2 Timothy, Paul encourages Timothy to follow the teachings of his mother and grandmother.

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you,
which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois
and your mother Eunice,
and I am sure that it is in you as well. . .
You, however, continue in the things
you have learned and become convinced of,
knowing from whom you have learned them,
and that from childhood you have known
the sacred writings which are able to give you
the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith
which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-15

And finally, in 1 Timothy 5, Paul taught about children and grandchildren being responsible for taking care of their older family members.

Honor widows who are widows indeed;
but if any widow has children or grandchildren,
they must first learn to practice piety
in regard to their own family
and to make some return to their parents;
for this is acceptable in the sight of God.
1 Timothy 5:3-4

While the children learned about these Bible teachings, they worked on the place cards for the nursing home. I had brought markers so that the children could write appropriate words on the cards and stickers they could use to decorate them. I was happy when several of the children decided to draw pictures instead. I was also happy about the messages they chose to write.

I gave the children a worksheet with the Bible passages and also a coloring sheet which honors grandparents. After teaching this class, I realized that some of you might like to share the lesson and worksheets with your own children. If so, you can download them below.

With markers, place cards from the wedding section of a craft store, and some stickers or crayons, your children might also enjoy doing a similar service project for a nursing home near you. I made contact with our local one through my friend Susan. If I didn’t have a personal contact, I would check with the nursing home’s activity director.

Render to all what is due them:
tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom;
fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Romans 13:7

Older People Word Search

Download Word Search


Grandparents Coloring Sheet

Download Grandparents Coloring Sheet

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