One of the Christian history makers, while exhorting to a young evangelist, wrote these words in his letter: “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.” (1Timothy 5:1-2). This was written 1945 years before, around 66 AD! I believe this is one of the finest advices a mentor could give to a mentee or a sensible parents to a dear child. I also believe this is a great principle that has the potential to change the course of human history. In fact, it did in the history of Christianity. But my attempt in this writing is not to prove historical evidences but draw a principle from this text for today’s application.
We hear and see everyday in the news women are being raped mercilessly, parents are abandoned without pity, siblings are reviling against one another over trivial issues, and hosts of other community clashes. All these events and incidents leave us helpless, insecure, and wonder if there is anything good in life! Or to question ourselves ‘what must be done in order to have a decent social life in the 21st century and centuries to come?’
In any case, life is not meant to live in helplessness and insecurity. If it were so, why would one prefers to have a life in the first place? None of our parents may have felt that their lovely girl or boy is going to be worthless! Instead they are proud of their little ones. I hope a father can understand better than I do on this matter. But my point is life is worth living and worthy to achieve its goals and ambitions. But why there is so much wrongs going around us that, one way or the other, put us in a situation where we have to pause and wonder whether life has any purpose at all?
Every now and then the surroundings of heartaches and melancholies in life make us frightful and awful. But God has not left us to wonder around purposelessly in life. Nor does He want us to be in helplessness and insecurity in our social lives. As a matter of fact by His divine wisdom and knowledge, God guided His servants to write what He wanted to communicate to human beings so that they can have a peaceful and harmonious living. One of the writings where the principle of harmonious living is instructed is in First Timothy 5:1-2 (see the quotation above).
If the men in the world realize and understand this principle that we were made to live in a community where an old man is to be treated as a father, an old woman as a mother, and a young lady as a sister, most of the wrongdoings and the delinquencies in the society can be put to an end. And violence, rape, murder, cheat, robbery, and anything against normal social life will soon find themselves a shaky foundation in the society. Any person who loves his family members understands what it means to be hurt by someone whom he dearly loves. Only a fool would dare to venture such hurting on his life. But no sensible man would ever think of hurting anyone whom he dearly loves and cherishes.
It is vital for a man to grasp the importance of having an ideal of fatherhood, motherhood, brotherhood, and sisterhood in the universe in order to live in harmony. It is vital for parents to understand that their children have the principle for harmonious living and making the world a better place to live.
The parents are the first and last school teachers for their children. The success or failure has much to do with the motivations the parents input in their love ones. But no success or failure is defined without a principle to measure with. In the same way, without a principle the wrongdoings of the society cannot be rectified. Therefore it is indispensable to have a principle to get to our feet against the social crimes. First Timothy 5:1-2 is one of the rarest principles the world desperately needs today. This is a principle to change for a better society in the world where we live.