To Whom do you Show Respect

Published by Lois Clymer on

My grandparents with my oldest son and daughterMy grandfather (pictured) once said he was born at the wrong time. When he was young, respect and honor were given to the elderly and the young tended to be disregarded. When he became old, values had changed. The young were now given honor and the old were disregarded.

One of my favorite books is Finding God in Ancient China by Chan Kei Thong. He mentions that when he was growing up his family practiced the wonderful time-tested virtues valued in Chinese culture–respect for elders, modesty, humility, diligence, and commitment to family.

Recently in my “read through the Bible” program, I read about the family of Jonadab, son of Recab. The prophet Jeremiah was told by God to bring into the temple the family men of Jonadab and offer them wine. When Jeremiah did this, the men declined the beverage because of their “father” Jonadab. Two hundred and fifty years previously (likely unknown by Jeremiah) Jonadab had given his family the instruction that none of them should ever drink wine, build houses, sow seeds or plant vineyards. Apparently they were to remain sober, live in tents, and herd sheep. Jeremiah was then told by God that because of their adherence to their elders’ instruction, Jonadab the son of Rehab “will never fail to have a man to serve me.” (Jeremiah 35).

This happened at the time when Judah was about to be put under siege because they no longer served God. Those living in the cities would starve or be killed by the sword, but the family of Jonadab, living in tents outside the walls of the city would be spared.

Our culture seems not to recognize the timeless value of respect for parents and elders. When the culture gets things wrong, we must not copy them. Let’s give respect and honor to our parents and to those elders we come in contact with.

You can purchase my book, Sacred Strands, the Story of a Redeemer Woven Through History on my website here.


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