Learning from Each Other

Job 5-7; Acts 8:1-25

I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. Ruth 2:11

Years before Zoom was an accessible communication tool, a friend asked me to join her on a video call to discuss a project. Through the tone of my emails, she could tell I was baffled, so she suggested I find a teenager to help me figure out how to set up a video call.

Her suggestion points to the value of intergenerational relationships. It’s something observed in Ruth and Naomi’s story. Ruth is often celebrated for being a loyal daughter-in-law, deciding to leave her land to accompany Naomi back to Bethlehem (Ruth 1:16-17). When they arrived in the town, the younger woman said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain [for us]” (2:2). She helped the older woman, who then helped the younger woman marry Boaz. Naomi’s advice for Ruth prompted Boaz to take action in purchasing her deceased in-laws’ property and to take her “as [his] wife” (4:9-10).

We certainly respect the advice of those who share their seasoned wisdom with younger generations. But Ruth and Naomi remind us that the exchange can go both ways. There’s something to be learned from those younger than us as well as those who are older. Let’s seek to develop loving and loyal intergenerational relationships. It will bless us and others and help us learn something we don’t know.

By: Katara Patton

Reflect & Pray

What have you learned from someone younger? How might you reach out to someone of another generation today?

Dear God, thank You for the wisdom found in the young and in the old. Teach me to value intergenerational exchanges.