This post is an excerpt from our newest devotional & journal Equality: Created Equal in His Image
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“Don’t rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters with all purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1-2 CSB
We have all been in a place where we look to the younger or older generation with judgment and condescending thoughts within the church; although, one is not more important than another. The local church is supposed to be a place of unity surrounded by the gospel. However, generational conflict and strife between different age groups are as prominent as ever.
Generations are separated within the local church, not having the opportunity to learn and grow under the wisdom and knowledge from each other. Or worse, there are churches where one cannot even find more than one or two generations represented within the congregation.
Equality of Age
1 Timothy 5:1-2 gives a beautiful example of what it means to have unity and equality of age, and also, how we should treat all age groups within the local church. We are to treat and exhort (another word for encouragement) the older men and women as parents, and we should look at the younger men and women in the church as siblings. Within the local church, we are committed to each other through membership, therefore we are committed to each other like a family. Paul instructed Timothy to close the gap of multiple generations to create equality and peace and to simply encourage the church to be family.
Each person of each age is important and is made in the image of God. This is important to remember when there is conflict between ages within the church. The 55+ group is not the church of the past, but they are the church. The children and youth groups are not the future of the church, but the church. The church should be a place of equality of all ages just as it is a place of equality of all races, nationalities, and languages. Each age group and generation brings a different perspective and gift to the local church, and that should be celebrated. Equality of age is a beautiful picture of the church and shows a necessary aspect that is needed to be a healthy and growing church.
Father God, I thank You for the opportunity to be part of the Church and how there are multiple ages, generations, and paths of life that make it up. I thank You for the wisdom of those who are younger and older than I because they are gifted and equipped for the role You have given them. Lord, right now I pray that if there is any conflict or inequality within generations of the Church that You will cause repentance and peace. You have created each person for Your glory, and we will be careful to praise You. Amen.