Sunday, December 4, 2011

So what's wrong with growing old?

Leviticus 19:32
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.

Proverbs 16:31
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

The term hoary, here, means: "1) age, gray hair, hoary head, old age
                                                             a) gray hair, hoary head
                                                             b) old age"

We live in a society that puts a premium on being "young". The entertainment stars- and even politicians- of our day spend much money on surgeries, nails, hair salons, etc to try and stay looking young. Movies, magazines, newspapers, billboards, and even sporting events all put a high value on "the young". 

Everywhere we look, in other words, we are told that a) young is good, and b) to get old is bad. Many are the men and women who have bought into this lifestyle. They look in the mirror and, instead of being grateful for the time they've had, lessons learned, and thankful for the victories and wisdom God has given them- all they see is a person who's (gasp) "getting old"! We wear makeup to cover our age. We imitate the ungodly fashions of the day because we want to be "cool" and accepted by society. 
Many even brag about staying "young". They throw out the music styles and lessons of their youth. They take on the modern music and lifestyles all to try and appear "young". They fight this battle every day. 
One day, inevitably, it hits them. In spite of all of the money they've spent and effort they've applied, they are...dare I say? ....GETTING OLD! This is terrible! What can they do? Instead of being glad for the blessings they do have, they pine for the youth they've lost. They think back to high school or college and wish they could be that age again. 
Then, the enemy of their souls- having reeled them in to this point- baits the trap that he has so painstakingly prepared all this time. He sends them a young person that seems to be, or even is, attracted to THEM. Being around this young one makes them feel "alive" (a euphemism for "young"). The more they hang out with this person, the more they begin to look at their own spouses lack of youth. 
The results? First it's adultery of the heart. They spend lots of time speaking with this person. They go out of their way to be with this person. They begin to try and woo this person the way they wooed their own spouse in their youth. Finally, comes the inevitable: physical adultery. 
Suddenly, all the faithful years their spouse has spent with them doesn't matter anymore. All the laughs and smiles, tears and trials of their lives together are thrown away for something they believe to be "better". Whether by their doing it, or their spouse doing it, the marriage ends in divorce. A family is destroyed. 
Soon, they learn that their greener grass, isn't so green. Their "new and improved" partner lacks both the true love of their original spouse and the experience and care that comes only from years together in the trenches. They've thrown away what they had for an illusion, only to find that what they now have is less than what they gave up.
MANY times, after the divorce, their new partner winds up leaving them all alone. All they really wanted was the thrill of taking this married person away from their spouse. The person has built up their ego on the pain of a destroyed home- leaving the newly divorced one, helpless, despondent, and all alone. All because of the fear of getting old.
God's word paints a different picture all together. It's GOOD to grow old with God and your spouse. It's GOOD to learn together, laugh together, struggle together, and grow together. Let the world point a finger at you. Let them call you old. It's a JOY to grow old together.
More than that, it's a joy to be able to help younger folks who are trying to learn and grow together. Your stand for God can be a living testimony for the young folks around you who are trying to live out their own marriages and walk with God. Your testimonies can give strength to them, as they struggle with some of the very things  that God brought you through. 
Don't give in to the "stay young" lie. Don't give in to that young thing who's trying to flirt with you. Stand for God. Hold onto your spouse ("cleave unto"- as the scriptures say) with ALL your heart and mind. Live your life together as a testimony of what God can do- even in this day of high divorce rates. 
Growing old is a blessing, not a curse. Let God carry you both through so that your life and experiences will be an example for later generations to follow until the Lord comes back. Instead of settling for the enemies "hall of shame", hold on to Jesus and enter God's "hall of fame". 
God bless you all.