As families go, and sometimes they go pretty fast, it is sometimes difficult to appreciate the intricate structure that makes every family successful. The structure is always there, but often times it is taken for granted. And then sometimes it is taken for lunch, which is better.
Perhaps the most overlooked and underpaid component of the family structure is the grandfather. Now, being a grandfather myself, I think I can speak for all grandfathers when I say we don't mind that much. That's just the kind of people we are.
For one reason, people have come to expect less from grandfathers, which is not always a bad thing. As long as there is a grandmother around she will always outrank grandfathers every time. And there is one very important reason why this happens.
I don't think anybody has ever pointed this out, and I'm a little reluctant to "spill the beans," on this sensitive subject. But then, being a grandfather myself, I hardly expect anybody to believe what I say, let alone listen to me.
The primary reason grandmothers always outrank grandfathers in every family situation is because grandfathers have planned it that way. I know some may think me a little off base here, but that's okay, it works out better for me that way.
It has taken many generations for grandfathers to achieve the level of success in this area that we enjoy today. As a contemporary grandfather, I owe a lot of thanks to all those grandfathers that have come before me and meticulously followed a unified plan.
"The plan," which has been worked out by the greatest minds God has ever created, has simply been to promote grandmothers all out of proportion. This has been a subtle thing on the part of many grandfathers, but it has worked.
Whenever, for example, there is a family gathering you will always notice a grandfather will always defer to his wife, the grandmother.
"I'll have to check with my wife," the grandfather will usually say. He rarely ever checks with his wife but he plants the thought in someone's mind that it is the grandmother who makes the decisions.
"Your grandmother will really love that," a grandfather will say when someone brings up some plan involving the family. In reality, he has no idea what the plan is, but again, he plants the notion in someone's mind that the grandmother's approval is important.
"Your grandmother will bring her world-famous pot roast," he says when there is any talk about a family get-together.
Again, this plants the thought in people's mind that the grandmother is a world-famous cook. If I may say so, this one is the most diabolical grandfathers have ever devised. And, even though I am hiding a silly little grin right now, I still think it a little devilish.
Grandfathers have planted the idea in people's minds that grandmothers are wonderful cooks and that they can cook anything, usually from scratch. Some are, I grant you, but this has put pressure on every grandmother to be a great cook with some world-famous dish. For generations now, grandmothers have fussed and fumed over their cookery presentations trying to live up to their reputations.
I know this may not be fair, but the way things are grandfathers need to get their pleasure somewhere. What greater pleasure is there than something at the expense of grandmothers who don't even know they're paying the bill?
All this deferring to the grandmother does several things. It boosts the importance of the grandmother while deflecting any responsibility away from the grandfather. And, after all, that is what they call the bottom line.
This leaves grandfathers resigned to the important role of entertaining the grandchildren. After all, what is really important in life? A world-famous pot roast or entertaining the grandchildren with silly and goofy tricks.
The grandfather's role among the grandchildren is rather important. For one, they know how to maneuver around grandmothers without being caught. This little bit of family savoir-faire will go a long way in improving the quality of a grandchild’s life. Especially, when it has to do with goodies forbidden by grandmother.
Every grandfather worth his sugar always has a secret cache of goodies far from the prying eye of grandmother.
Grandfathers, you see, always know the kind of goodies grandchildren love but aren't supposed to have, according to grandmothers. More importantly, they know how to get these goodies to the grandchildren without causing any suspicion from grandmother.
When you come to think of it, one of the biggest responsibilities of a grandfather is to pick the right grandmother.
The bigger responsibility for a grandfather is to instill in his grandchildren spiritual values. It's important these values be a part of his own personal life before he can transfer them into the lives of his grandchildren.
The biggest spiritual value is one of my favorite verses of Scripture: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV).
Because of the times in which we live, grandchildren today more than any other generation, needs a grandfather who has truly mastered the art of prayer. Fortunate is the grandchild who has a grandfather who knows how to pray.
A praying grandfather is the most important part of the family structure.