What both these pastors made very evident is that there is a HUGE generational gap spreading in our churches. Younger and older people are being split apart into different services, different events, and different small groups. And we're losing something. We're losing true community and we're losing the wisdom, understanding and experience of older generations.
Both pastors said something to the extent of, "There are people in this service who have been married for 40 years. And we NEED you. We have other people in this room who have been married for one year and are thinking of divorce. They NEED you. There are all kinds of things you have gotten through and us young folk could sure use a hug and a lifetime of experience from which to draw. It is vital that older and younger generations interact more."
I tell you what, I could not more whole-heartedly agree. It doesn't even need to be in the context of church. You got some neighbors who've been married a long time? Get to know 'em. They'll teach you things you didn't even know you needed to know.
As a married person I can say with weight that mentors or relationships with older people really matter when it comes to keeping a marriage together. There is so much that we haven't lived through yet and we desperately need to know how other people made it through. Sometimes solutions can only come from others because we get so stuck in our own endless circles of emotion and hurt, we need older, wiser couples to speak up and speak into our marriages.
Because honestly, our generation is not doing so hot with the whole marriage thing right now. We can agree on that right?
So if you're a younger couple, really be persistant in reaching out to older folks. A lot of people shy away from the word "mentor"....so just have them over for dinner and ask questions about their lives. I'm not saying to be sneaky...but really mentoring is by nature relationships between generations. So go get yourself a relationship.
If you're an older couple. Please, please, please put yourself out there. We young 'uns would love to have someone to talk to. To get to know. To hear about your life and what you've learned so far. We would really value your advice.
Let's do something about this together.