Issues Facing Society: Old Age
1 Timothy 5:1 - 10, 16; Titus 2:1
August 3, 1997
by Josh Hunt
This lesson is going to play out in different ways depending on who you are
teaching. For elderly people, you will be teaching on "how to deal with life as
you reach the senior years." For younger people, you are looking at, "How to
deal with and serve aging parents or the elderly in general." In the 1 Timothy
passage, we will deal more with the "how to treat the elderly" theme. In the
Titus passage, we will concentrate on how to grow old. You may want to deal with
only one passage or the other, depending on the needs of your group. I have
designed the lessons to be used in that way. You are there to teach your group,
not to cover the material. The material has no needs. Your group has lots of
1 Timothy 5:1 - 10, 16
- To get started, I
would like for each of you to share your name, and one sentence on how you
would like to be remembered when you die. What do you want on your
- As we read this passage,
look for principles on how we are to treat the elderly.
have and will be looking at how the Bible teaches we are to treat elderly
people. To get us started, let's contrast this with how the world treats the
elderly. How does our society treat and feel about elderly people?
What does this passage say NOT to do?
- Who are the widows referred to
- Have you ever known a church
that took care of widows in this way?
- Look at verse 6. Why is the
widow who lives for pleasure "dead while she lives"?
- Do you think
our ministry to widows would extend to young single moms who are divorced,
or is this only talking about old people?(2)
What does the Bible have to say about those who don't take care of their own
- Again, how broadly do we apply this principle? Is this only
talking about those who neglect their aging parents, or is this saying that
anyone who does not meet the needs of his own family is worse than an
- What kind of needs? Financial? Emotional? Other needs? What
does it mean to meet the needs of one's own family?
- We are
concentrating our talk about the elderly today. What does this mean for
them? How can we meet the needs of aging parents? What needs do they have?
How can we help?
- Some of you share what is the situation with your
parents? What does obedience to this command mean for you in your situation?
Would putting your parents in a nursing home, sending cards a couple of
times a year and visiting every year or two be alright?(3)
Is it ever OK to place your parents in a elderly-care home?
- How far
do you take this? Would you move across the country, give a good job to take
care of your parents?
- What about other elderly people-- say the
elderly right here in this church. How are we to treat them?
- How do
you want to be treated when you are old?
- Let's wrap up by asking
several of you to share you aspirations for how you want to treat your
parents as they grow old
- Let's close in prayer, asking God to help
us to be obedient to the command to take are of our families. Would you join
Titus 2: 1 - 5
- To get
started, I would like for each of you to share your name, and one sentence
on how you would like to be remembered when you die. What do you want your
epitaph to say?
- As we read this
passage, I would like for the men to listen for what the men are supposed to
do and the women to listen for what the women are supposed to do.
This passage begins with a command to teach sound doctrine. A lot of people
today say, "It doesn't matter so much what you believe, as long as you are
sincere." Is sound doctrine important? Why is it important?
what are the main elements of sound doctrine? What are the core beliefs that
are absolutely central to our faith?
- Verse 2 says older men are to
be temperate. What is temperate?
- What are five other qualities that
elderly men are supposed to strive toward?
- Which of the six
qualities mentioned in verse 2 comes easiest for you? Which is most
- What are elderly women supposed to be and do? Let's make
a list on the board.
- I want to key in one thing this passage teaches
that the elderly are supposed to do: teach younger women. In fact, I want to
make the grand assumption that it would be good for elderly men to teach
younger men. This passage does not teach this directly, but I think it is
still a good idea.
- Why does God ask the elderly to teach younger
people? What are the benefits to the elderly in doing this?
- What are
the benefits to the younger person who is being taught?
- Do most
younger people that you know respect elderly people enough to want to be
taught by them?
- Where does the initiative lie here? Are the elderly
to seek out younger people and ask to teach them, or the other way around?
What if the younger people do not want to be taught?(4)
Are elderly people necessarily more wise than younger?(5)
How have you seen this work out practically? Have you ever taught anyone
younger than you? Have you ever been taught by someone older than you?
What are we supposed to teach? Do we teach cooking, auto repair, or what?
Why do you think this command is not lived out more commonly than it is?
What obstacles would you see in being obedient to this command?
are the benefits?(6)
- What are some
practical steps you could take to get started? How do you begin?
Would you pray with me just now and tell God that as he guided you we would
be willing to be obedient to this command?
1. You might explain a little about the background. This resource does not
attempt to duplicate the fine work that is already done in the commentaries. One
good source of material is the Baptist Sunday School Board. You can reach them
at 1 (800) 458 2772. This series follows their Life and Work outline, which
provides a wide variety of helpful tools to help you in your teaching.
2. I think the Bible teaches we ought to help anyone who needs help. In our
society, this would certainly include young single moms.
3. Would you want to be treated that way?
all relationships we invite, we do not "Lord it over."
No. They have the opportunity to learn wisdom, but many do not.
6. I know I have asked this twice. People will always do what they believe
is best for them. This is why faith and beliefs are so important. Unless people
really believe that being obedient to this command is good for them, they will
never do so.