It’s been said that one of the rewards of longevity is to get to watch your grandchildren drive your own kids, now parents, a little crazy. While this is not exactly in keeping with the Golden Rule, the thought will stimulate a tongue in cheek expression in most of us.
One of the opportunities that grandparenting offers is the means to have a meaningful impact on the spiritual lives of those left behind.
By the time we become a grandparent, one should have been relieved of the pressure caused by unrealistic expectations inevitably experienced by all parents.
God’s first two children had apersonal relationship with God, were provided with everything they needed, were placed in a perfect neighborhood, but yet failed miserably. As parents, they raised the first recorded
murderer, Cain, who killed hisbrother, Abel.
While many American grandparents are becoming more involved in the raising of their children’s children, there remains a fine line that grandparents must observe so as not to undermine the authority, responsibility, and decision-making roles of the parents.
Never the less, grandparents, by example, if not always by word, can have a great influence on the spiritual development of their grandchildren. In some cases, it may prove to be the first time that their own kids give an ear to spiritual concerns.
My grandparents never “preached” to me, but the look in my grandmother’s eyes when she spoke of the Lord will never be erased from my memory. Equally impressive, was how I never heard my grandfather speak ill of anyone. I always considered what a perfect balance a servant of God could have if he could have the boldness to speak out, as did my grandmother, but with the unconditional acceptance of all men, as displayed by my grandfather.
Children are very observant of those they interact with on a regular basis. It is not long before they begin to distinguish the difference in the attitudes, mannerisms, lifestyles, and home environments of the different people they are exposed to and interact with on a regular basis.
Godly grandparents will not go unnoticed in the world in which we live. This “difference” will provide the opportunities for them to pass the torch of faith and discipleship to the generations that follow.
Salvation is based on a personal decision that everyone must make as an individual, but grandparents are in a position to present their grandchildren with the Gospel Message once they reach the age or stage of moral accountability. Once born again, God may also use grandparents to lead grandchildren to the true post salvation spiritual life.
Spiritual rebirth and wisdom have nothing to do with biological age or familial roles. Perhaps you are a born again grandchild that God will use to bring the Gospel Message to an unsaved grandparent!
The lifetime experience and wisdom of a godly grandparent and the heart of a developing grandchild combine to make the perfect environment for developing a meaningful relationship.
Everyone should have at least one person to whom they can go to anytime about anything. Grandparents can provide such a safe haven in the midst of a storm.
Meaningful relationships between grandparents and grandchildren must not only be established, but maintained as well. All humans inevitably say and do things that will hurt and disappoint others. No interpersonal human relationship of any kind is possible without genuine forgiveness and unconditional love.
Aging grandparents can develop a false sense of uselessness. God has a plan and purpose for every disciple’s life as long as the Great Commission remains unfulfilled!
It can be a blessing if a grandparent has the means to leave a financial inheritance, but there is no guarantee that it will be used wisely.
As Solomon put it, “…and who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. (Eccl. 2: 19 NASB).”
Much greater than a financial inheritance is a spiritual endowment, as this has value in this world as well as in the world to come. Proverbs 13: 22 (NASB), “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” This has application to every grandparent, as it has nothing to do with finances.
Every grandparent has a legacy. Does God and the things of God have a place in yours?
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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