1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. (1 Timothy 5:1–2, NKJV)
Kind and respectful words, even when correction is in order, conveys honor for the aged. Younger people are tempted to speak roughly to the elderly, losing their patience and being disrespectful with their words and actions. Paul warns against such here. “The term ‘rebuke,’ mentioned here only in the New Testament, describes a severe verbal pounding” (The New American Commentary, 1, 2 Timothy, Titus, Lea & Griffin, 34:145). The wise young person knows that one day he or she will be old and will appreciate being addressed with respectful words. Be it noted that Paul assumes fathers and mothers are spoken to with respect and regard; another important lesson for every generation. How a person speaks to his elders and about his elders says a good deal about his character.