Orginally published on Thursday, September 13, 2007 at 7:10 AM
by Todd Rhoades
According to an article over at Lifeway.com, many pastors are reporting that the most disturbing trend in their aging church is the number of couples who are living together. In todayís society we might expect that this number is increasing, but what is interesting is that the majority of these couples are over the age of 55. Many senior couples are living together for financial reasons. Although they want the benefit of companionship, whether made single by death or divorce, many decide that they simply do not want to get remarried. So how can a church address this disturbing trend?
1. Preach and Teach Godís design for loving relationships.
No matter what the age, God has a design for sexual integrity. Most of the teaching and preaching about sexual activity is focused on the young. In reality, however; many aged men and women commit the greatest sexual sins. For example, David when he was older and more established committed adultery with Bathsheba.
Church leaders would be wise to acknowledge that retirement in no way translates into a sexual drive standstill. The church must be cognizant to the needs of her people and the aged must be taught and prepared so that they are able to overcome the temptations they face.
2. Develop a small accountability group for seniors.
The best support comes from those that understand and can relate to the situation. James reminds us that if we confess our sins to one another God will forgive us. Seniors need a group of people with whom they can be authentic and real. The church can be a great help if she provides a group where feelings and temptations can be discussed, and where encouragement and support can be given in ample portions.
3. Help seniors find alternative avenues.
Sometimes in the midst of difficult situations we feel that we simply have no good options. However, it is important to remember that ďall of Godís options are good optionsĒ. Godís Word says that He will always provide a way out. Sometimes His escape is made known through the spoken words of His people. Churches and church leaders should provide seniors with counseling and other ideas and possibilities than simply what may seem acceptable and easy.
4. Confront in love and support unconditionally.
Finally, it is the responsibility of the church leaders to confront those members of the church that decide on a path that is not what is best for them. Leaders must confront in love but always remember to support unconditionally.
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