You can search Bible verses about aging and find plenty of things to support God's love for older adults. Scripture has a number of positive things to say about growing older, including the fact that people can gain valuable wisdom as they age. However, as with anything else in life, it isn't always easy to face the truths of aging with a positive and graceful mindset.
Seniors of faith have some special tools they can use to face the world gracefully day by day, recognizing the goodness around them and in the aging process. Whether you're spending most of your retirement years in your existing home or making a move to independent or assisted living, use the tips below to approach the journey with grace.
If you already have a personal faith practice, such as quiet time in the morning or regular prayer time throughout the day, commit to keeping up with it during retirement. It may seem like you'll have plenty of time during these days to spend with God, but many seniors remain very active and have busy schedules. If you choose to downsize into an assisted living community, you may find you have more access to social activities and other events than you previously did, and your calendar can get full fast.
Make sure to carve out some time on a regular basis to keep practicing your faith.
And if you don't already have a strong faith practice, consider investing time in one. You can buy a devotional or simply read God's Word at a certain time each day. If you're crafty, you might spend time praying as you complete needlework or draw. Find a way to connect with your faith and God in a way that's uniquely yours.
Don't forget to remain connected to other people who share your faith. As natural aging processes occur, people don't move about as quickly or easily. But if you still live in a neighborhood near your home church, it can be a worthy practice to continue attending Sunday worship and other events. As you support your church, the congregation can support you.
If you've moved away from your home church, work to find a new fellowship of faith. This might mean joining a nearby church. However, it can also mean participating in a local Bible study or prayer meeting or attending devotional times with friends at an assisted living community. The goal is to gather with others who share your faith in a meaningful way and experience fellowship and community.
In any season of life, people of faith are called to be good stewards of the resources God has blessed them with. That's as true for older adults as it is for anyone else. Whatever financial resources you have during retirement, continue to manage them responsibly and ask God what you should do with them.
Recognize, too, that your resources aren't limited to finances. As an older adult, you may have long years of career knowledge or life wisdom stored up. What can you do with those resources to "be a workman for God," as the apostle Paul advises?
Your body, too, is a God-given resource. Whether or not it creaks or complains a bit more than it used to, your body is a temple that houses the Spirit of your belief. Continuing to care for it with responsibility and, when possible, joy is a way to age gracefully. Talk to your health care providers or staff at your assisted living community to get help managing exercise, diet and other considerations to care for this physical resource.
Think of ways to share your faith with others. When you're actively sharing what God has done in your life or what you believe, it's easier to continue to grow into your faith gracefully. Sharing your faith can also provide renewed purpose.
Older adults who are comfortable writing might consider sharing their faith via social media, letters to loved ones or online blogs. If you're most comfortable caring for others, consider ways you can share your faith through acts of service. Sometimes, simply praying for or with another person or taking time to listen to a story or comfort a sad friend can be ways to share your faith and the love of God.
Ultimately, aging gracefully through faith has a lot less to do with how you look and how well every part of your body still works and more to do with mindset and what you do with each day you're presented with. Ask yourself what one positive thing you can do today or this week to age gracefully via faith, and set out to accomplish that small task. When you add up small tasks like that, they make a big difference.