We need to respect our young men and our fathers.
Respect your father, regardless. It doesn’t matter what he has or hasn’t done. Show him respect. When you show respect to an older man, you are also honoring God. That’s how God made us. It’s so sad to see young men mocking an older man. It doesn’t matter whether he’s a street sweeper or a tramp. If he’s old enough to be your father, treat him with respect.
Grow old gracefully. There’s nothing worse than seeing a sheep dressed up like a lamb, for example, seeing an elderly gentleman trying to act like a young man. Young men don’t want that and they don’t like it.
I remember an event that took place at a church camp. We were playing soccer and I decided to pick up the ball and start playing rugby. I went tearing down the field. I had all the moves since I used to play fairly good rugby when I was young. But I had no speed. Three young men tackled me from either side. As a result, I broke several ribs. It was my own fault. I should have been growing old gracefully.
There’s nothing more distasteful than to see an old man walking around trying to flex his muscles with the young men. It’s very degrading and embarrassing, especially for the younger guys. Grow old with respect. Remember your age and act accordingly, and the young men will flock around you. They love it.
There’s such a terrible shortage of spiritual fathers—men with wisdom and culture that young men want to live up to. I think of that beautiful Scripture verse in Psalm 37:25: “I once was young and now I am old, yet have I never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”
When you act your age, you will find that your children will do the same. There’ll be no famine, no irresponsibility, no need for drastic measures in the house, because each one of your sons will take responsibility for his position in the home, on the farm or in the factory.