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Profiles of the Christian Old Man and Woman

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

Profiles of the Christian Old Man and Woman

Profiles of the Christian Old Man and Woman

It is reasonable to expect that the virtues of godliness will automatically be included in the Christian's guide to daily living. So why did the Apostle Paul find it necessary to instruct Titus on what he should teach to his older congregants?

It is believed that Paul was responsible for Titus’s conversion to Christianity. He referred to Titus as “my partner and co-worker” (2 Corinthians 8:23), and as “my true son in our common faith” (Titus 1:4). He assigned Titus to be his representative for the church he founded in Crete, an island in the Mediterranean which now forms part of modern Greece.

Paul mentioned in his letter to Titus, the reason for the assignment: to complete unfinished business (Titus 1), which included the layout of social behaviors for each segment of the congregation (Titus 2). Each individual was to be convinced that personal integrity mattered to the influence of Christian standards in the community. Each was to exemplify a righteous lifestyle.

“Titus is to start with the older men and then the women because it does not and cannot stop there; their lives are to be holy; their lives are to respect the fact that they, by God's mercy, have been placed in an important position. They are an important part of the pattern that is to be passed on.” (Paul’s Letter to Titus for Today, Research Gate.net)

The following brief profiles are suggestive of the lifestyles of the old man and old woman, who follow the instructions which Titus received from Paul.

Teach the older men to be  temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled.

Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled.

The Christian Old Man

Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect,
self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
― Titus 2: 2 NIV

The Christian old man is charming in a different way than when he was young. His persona gets more attention than his physique. His self-importance fades and his Christlikeness becomes his main appeal.

Women and children are attracted to his “temperate” or discreet habits. He addresses them, not with terms which suggest physical or emotional intimacy, but with titles which express admiration for God’s creation of his gentler counterpart. He laughs with them and engages them in lively conversation without a hint of vulgarity.

His deportment, whether classy or casual, summons respect. He also respects the value which God placed on others. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, he controls his appetites as well as his anger and disgust at the frustrations of life.

The three abiding virtues of “faith, hope and love” (1 Corinthians 13:13), are embedded in the old man. His faith and love remain vibrant; and his hope is undergirded with “endurance,” or patience. For his youthful hope was focused on possessions and achievements scheduled on his timetable; now, he must wait for his most cherished hope, which is the physical presence of God and heaven. And while he waits throughout the aging process, his patience keeps him peaceful and joyful.

He remains faithful, enduring seasons of suffering, while modeling His Savior’s love and grace. God honors the Christian old man; and young men and women hold him in high regard.

Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live ...to teach what is good.

Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live ...to teach what is good.

The Christian Old Woman

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way
they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine,
but to teach what is good. ―Titus 2: 3 NIV

The Christian old woman is attractive, not necessarily because of the graceful fashion she wears; but definitely because her entire being is endowed with the inner, timeless “beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:4).

Her disposition is sacred, not sanctimonious, because she credits her grooming to the influence of God’s Holy Spirit within her. Godliness is displayed in her “dress, appearance, conversation, manner” (Ellicott’s Commentary).

Children and youth admire her efforts to remain relatable, as she laughs and learns with them. By her honest counsel, based on her experiences, she guides young adult women through the mundane struggle for survival to the permeating joy of virtuous, productive womanhood. She is a supportive ray of sunshine to her peers.

She may still talk too much for some, but compliments not criticisms become her watchword, since she has learned the value of building up instead of breaking down. Gratitude, not grumbling becomes her main expression, because she counts more blessings than burdens and blunders.

Her happiness comes from the divine strength which maintains her beautify within; not from external products. She renounces intoxicating liquors and harmful drugs. She feeds her body with healthy nutrients, her mind and spirit with godly teachings. The Christian old woman is the beacon of hope to those who have listened to the horrors of aging. She is her Savior’s exhibit of His ageless love, goodness, joy, peace and comfort.

For Reflection

While we cannot exhaust all the issues about Christian old men and women, here are a few thoughts from Billy Graham which may introduce some other aging considerations on which we can reflect:

  • "Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life."
  • "Every day is a gift from God, no matter how old we are."
  • "As I got older, I guess I became more mellow and more forgiving and more loving."
  • "All my life I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die. I wish they had because I am an old man now and, believe me, it's not easy."
  • "I often wonder if God, in his sovereignty, allows the eyesight of the aged to cast a dim view of the here and now so that we may focus our spiritual eyes on the ever after."
  • "Old age may have its limitations and challenges, but in spite of them, our latter years can be some of the most rewarding and fulfilling of our lives."

Do You Admire Aging Lifestyles?

© 2020 Dora Weithers

Comments

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 06, 2020:

Thanks, James. I appreciate your encouragement.

James A Watkins from Chicago on September 06, 2020:

I love your article. I especially enjoyed your first paragraph in sections two and three. Well done.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 06, 2020:

Brenda, thanks for your feedback.Of course, there are old folks like these around and we are privileged to know some.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 05, 2020:

Ms Dora,

This is a nice write. I can picture both a man & a woman I know with these traits.

This phrase "Every day is a gift from God, no matter how old we are." Seems to be one I try to remember daily.

Thanks for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 03, 2020:

Thanks, Denise. My goal is the same as yours: "be the one with the twinkle in my eye, and a smile for all I meet." I appreciate your valuable comment.

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on September 03, 2020:

It has been my good fortune to spend a lot of time with senior citizens. For some reason, God has gifted me with insight into their needs and has placed me in a position to help them. There are many who keep their Christian faith strong as they age. There is a twinkle in their eye, and a ready smile for everyone they greet. We banter back and forth with quips and quotes. Others, however, complain about every ache and pain that comes their way, and are forever touting a negative attitude. I hope that as I age, I can be the one with the twinkle in my eye, and a smile for all I meet. That would make the Lord much more happy to greet me when my time comes!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 01, 2020:

Antonio, thanks for sharing your observations which I consider helpful. True, old people still have lessons to learn.

Antonio50S on September 01, 2020:

To Dora.

I think the reason Paul found it necessary to instruct Titus on what to teach the older congregants is because grey hair doesn't always equal maturity and wisdom, but they are in the right place both mentally and within the congregation to develop the virtues needed.

Grey Hair may not always equal Wisdom, but in God's congregation we should Rise before the aged by showing respect, despite any natural faults they have. By not doing so is actually disrespecting God himself who set up the arrangements who we should Revere. ( Leviticus 19:32 )

Read this Quote from ( Charles Spurgeon ) Which is related to virtue developments "Trials teach us what we are, they dig up the soul, and let us see what we are made of"

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 01, 2020:

Lora, thanks for your very valuable comment. You wrote something I'd like to repeat too: "We are role models as we age for the young and we have an opportunity to teach them what is really important about life and what it means to be a Christian." That's exactly what this article is about.

Lora Hollings on September 01, 2020:

What a great article, Dora. I love this instruction: "compliments not criticisms become her watchword, since she has learned the value of building up instead of breaking down. Gratitude, not grumbling becomes her main expression, because she counts more blessings than burdens and blunders." We are role models as we age for the young and we have an opportunity to teach them what is really important about life and what it means to be a Christian. Thanks for sharing these profiles.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 31, 2020:

Thanks, Bronwen. Good to see you. I appreciate your kind encouragement.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on August 31, 2020:

What a great hub! As a Christian 'oldie' I can certainly appreciate your comments and advice.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 31, 2020:

Thanks, Cynthia. Graceful aging is a motto we all share, and this is an attempt to point us in the right direction. Thanks for your encouragement.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on August 31, 2020:

Beautifully summed up, Dora.

I appreciated the quotes of Billy Graham's. I also like how you have refocused me on thankfulness for my models of aging gracefully, and an awareness of whether I am modeling Biblical attributes.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 31, 2020:

Vandna, it's my pleasure to share the Bible principles I learn. Happy when my readers appreciate my offerings. Thank you.

thoughtsprocess from Navsari (India) on August 31, 2020:

Inspiring words. Thank you so much Dora Ma'am for teaching these valuable lessons of life. So grateful.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 31, 2020:

Thanks, KC. I receive God's blessings via you and your wife. I pray the same for both of you, today and always.

KC McGee from Where I belong on August 30, 2020:

MsDora, I asked my wife to read this article, which she just finished. Her comment to me was...............God bless MsDora.

And I totally agree.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 30, 2020:

KC, thanks for reading and leaving some feedback. Glad you stopped by.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 30, 2020:

Thanks, John. Your comment about older people is true and encouraging.

KC McGee from Where I belong on August 30, 2020:

A great article Dora. Glad I took the time to read it.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on August 30, 2020:

A fine article MsDora. Older people are not always given the respect or importance they deserve. Their knowledge, wisdom and countenance need to be appreciated, and they can pass many life lessons onto the young.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 30, 2020:

Thanks, Antonio. I appreciate your building-up compliments also.

Antonio50S on August 30, 2020:

Hello Dora.

"Compliments not criticisms become her watchword, since she has learned the value of building up instead of breaking down"

That's Really good Dora. A lesson for all of us.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 30, 2020:

Drew, thank you for stopping by. The sooner the young people learn these principles, the more principled old folks the world will see.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 30, 2020:

True, Cheryl. We do well to resurrect these old principles to help us and those who come after us to remember.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 30, 2020:

Linda, I agree with you. The more mature individuals may have to lead the respect procession and hope that the younger ones will follow.

Drew Agravante from Philippines, Currently in Qatar on August 30, 2020:

Very inspirational. The words echo to the heart. It's not only for elder people but also for young adults. Thanks for this heart-warming article.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on August 30, 2020:

Thank you for this story. It’s sad these scriptures are not valued anymore and so many want to do their own thing.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 29, 2020:

Older people are very important and can be very inspirational. They should be valued far more than is sometimes the case. Thank you for the reminder, Dora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 29, 2020:

Thanks, Ambrie. Your comment is very encouraging. I appreciate you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 29, 2020:

Peggy, I share your love for inspiration from the lives of seniors. You're right about their beauty shining forth from within them. That's lasting beauty, no matter how old they get.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 29, 2020:

Adrienne, just being around the old folk is a great pastime. We learn so much from their stories.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 29, 2020:

Bill, I'm also big on respect. A respectable old man or woman can be very influential, also many people will show him kindness. Such virtues in the elderly gain admiration.

Ambrie Anders on August 29, 2020:

This is a keeper - it’s great you’ve reminded us of what to strive for, including explaining the ‘backstory’.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 29, 2020:

Pamela, what a noble goal, to be an exemplary Christian old woman. You're on your way!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 29, 2020:

Mary, dignity and joy add to the quality of an older person's life. They make living to a ripe old age worth the while.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 29, 2020:

Devika, I appreciate your input. You gave good ideas for the older folk to stay happy, and of course, that's important.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2020:

I can think of several older people who's walks in life was inspirational. Beauty does shine from within in people like that.

Adrienne Farricelli on August 29, 2020:

I have a deep respect for the elderly and am always eager to hear their stories and learn from them. They are an important piece of society, and should be protected from diseases such as COVID19. Since a child, I always liked to stick around the elderly sometimes even more than my peers.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 29, 2020:

Teach them to be worthy of respect. That really struck me. It is so important to lead our lives in such a manner. Thank you for the reminder. Even in my seventies, it is important for me to do so.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 29, 2020:

Since I became a born again Christian and as I have gotten older I have definitely changed. I realy like your article. I know many older people (men and women) that I admire. Your article describes those traits beautifully. I want to be one of those older women like you described. Have a beautiful weekend, Dora.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 29, 2020:

I think of the many older people I admire very much because they live their lives in dignity and joy. As I grow older, I begin to appreciate this time of life.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 29, 2020:

Hi Dora I know of old folks who mingle with the much younger and have great personalities and this is the key to a much happier life. Older folks need to focus on what makes them feel upbeat and go with the flow. This is an interesting and informative hub for one to see life from a different perspective. I think when one gets older every need and want gets lesser.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 29, 2020:

Thanks, Ernest. Your comment is so encouraging. You convince me that old folks need younger friends to help them keep going.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 29, 2020:

Flourish, Happy Birthday to your husband's friend! What a beautiful story! The "bright and gentle ray of sunshine" certainly deserves the celebration.

Ernest Festus Awudey from Ho, Ghana. on August 29, 2020:

Miss Dora, I think you have laid down a beautiful treasure for young people like me when we become old in the Christian journey. The article is simply life-transforming. I strongly believe that old men and women who may come across this article will surely find it useful.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 28, 2020:

My husband and a small group of his friends are celebrating their friend’s birthday tomorrow—he is several decades older than each of them. He turns 90, and they plan a Covid-19 safe parade of cars in front of his house to wish him Happy Birthday. He is a bright and gentle ray of sunshine reflective of your description above.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 28, 2020:

Denise, what a blessing to have footsteps you can follow. They help to make the journey seem doable.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 28, 2020:

Rev Margaret, being at peace with your aging status is a positive example to your spectators. I'm right behind you. True, it's a blessing to achieve our aging status.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 28, 2020:

Eric, you are aging gracefully. You don't even have to try. Keep on loving and caring.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 28, 2020:

Thanks, Liz. Billy Graham is unforgettable. His final book reveals his thoughts on aging and going home.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 28, 2020:

I have many sweet mentor elders who have shaped my thinking and my spiritual walk through the years. I hope I age as well and as gracefully as they have.

Blessings,

Denise

Margaret Minnicks from Richmond, VA on August 28, 2020:

Thanks for an uplifting article about the Christian old man and old woman since I am now in that category. Just before I turned 75, I didn't look forward to getting old. Now I embrace it knowing that many people didn't live that long.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 28, 2020:

This is a wonderful guide. I am working on aging "grace"fully. Each time I try I think is a blessing. I am in that wonderful stage where to some I am old and to others young.

Thank you for this valuable Bible study.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 28, 2020:

This is an interesting and enlightening look at the qualities displayed in old age in the Bible. I especially appreciated the quotes from Billy Graham and still recall hearing him speak 35 years ago.