“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” – I Timothy 5:1-2
We are called as a community to be like family to one another. Paul, in his letter to Timothy, (who was teaching in Ephesus) gave clear instruction as to how the family of God ought to treat one another. Those who are older than ourselves, ought to be given the same concern and respect as our parents. To those who are younger, we are to treat them as sisters and brothers, with utmost purity and protection.
This is an excellent reminder of both the call to care for one another in community, and how to interact with those whom God has placed around us. Despite our own disgust with or distaste for the behaviors, actions and attitudes of others, we are to extend the same love and grace that God grants to us, to all of the members of our community.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we are sinful, You are merciful and grant grace as we come before you in repentance. Teach us to treat all those in our community in the same way, as You have charged us to love one another as You first loved us. May we exhort and respect our elders, and look out for and protect those who are younger, as brothers and sisters in You. Teach us how to treat others as You have treated us. Thank You that You are merciful and gracious, generous and loving, as You lead us in the way that we ought to go. May the way we live our lives extend the very same love to all whom we encounter, so that they too may learn of Your loving kindness. Amen.