It’s most likely a mirrored image of my age and stage of life that I discover myself considering increasingly about grandparents and grandparenting. In as a lot as I can learn the long run, I’m not notably near being one myself, however I’m the sort of one that likes to be ready—to consider future realities so I may be prepared if and after they come. I’m particularly involved in figuring out be a distinctly Christian grandparent. And so, as Aileen and I get into the stage of life the place we’re most likely nearer in time to holding grandbabies than our personal infants, I discover myself trying to the Bible to see what it says about being a grandparent. (Additionally, I used to be not too long ago requested to ship a collection of messages on the Christian household and didn’t wish to overlook a key part of a robust household!)
Frankly, I haven’t discovered that it offers a lot specific steering on the matter. The passages on parenting are given to folks, not grandparents. It falls primarily to mother and pop, not grandma and grandpa, to lift the kids within the self-discipline and instruction of the Lord. Grandparents have to be keen to permit mother and father to be mother and father, and to watch out to not overrule or criticize their kids as they perform the duty of parenting. I perceive that grandparents should be very keen to tackle a secondary and supporting function.
However what does that supporting function seem like? Primarily based on what I’ve discovered within the Bible, primarily based on what I’ve noticed within the lives of Christians, and primarily based on quite a few grandparents I’ve spoken to, I imagine it’s one among affect—of religious affect. Let me provide two methods I imagine grandparents can tackle a job of religious affect within the lives of their grandchildren.
Affect By means of Prayer
The primary sort of religious affect comes via prayer. As aged folks let go of different tasks in life and maybe lose the flexibility to be as energetic as they as soon as had been, they acquire the chance to wish extra. Not solely that, however they’ve had a few years to develop of their information of God and their relationship with him, so we belief they’re praying higher than ever earlier than, that they’re extra intimate with God than ever earlier than, that they’re in a better friendship with God than ever earlier than. They should know the facility of prayer and to imagine in its necessity.
Statistically, seniors are the heaviest shoppers of tv throughout all demographics. But, paradoxically, they’re additionally the demographic that derives the least satisfaction from watching tv. I suppose this reveals that a lot of society has not carved out a definite function for seniors. And I suppose it additionally reveals that if grandparents are prayerless, it’s not as a result of lack of time or alternative. Right here’s a query Christian grandparents would do properly to ask themselves: Would you moderately your grandchildren bear in mind you because the one who watched TV or the one who prayed? Will you commit your self to watching TV and be more and more unhappy by it, or will you commit your self to prayer and know that you’re laboring on behalf of these you like? I encourage you: Please pray! Please intercede earlier than God on their behalf. Maybe you may merely commit that you’ll pray for every of your grandchildren every day. And maybe you may allow them to know that you’ve got made that dedication—that grandma or grandpa is on their knees on their behalf every day. This shall be an amazing blessing to them, and it’ll lend that means and significance to years that may in any other case be so simply wasted via infinite leisure.
Affect By means of Relationship
If the primary sort of religious affect comes via prayer, the opposite comes via relationship. As grandparents relate to their grandchildren, there’s a particular and distinctive sort of love that they and so they alone can provide. Grandparent-love is a distinct sort of love from parent-love, however it might be no much less vital or important. Guardian-love is deep and highly effective, but it surely’s the sort of love that comes with expectation—it’s proper and good for fogeys to have excessive expectations for his or her kids. They should push their kids to succeed in their potential. They should instruct their kids and to self-discipline them, to reward them and to appropriate them.
However grandparent-love doesn’t should have that very same sort of expectation. In actual fact, it’s typically neither proper nor good for grandparents to be concerned in self-discipline, correction, rebuke, or expressions of disappointment. That’s for the mother and father. And that’s good, as a result of it means grandparents can love with out expectation. This type of love would break a toddler if it was the one love they obtained, however when mother and father love their kids with that distinctive parent-love, it frees the grandparents to like with that distinctive grandparent-love. The 2 loves usually are not contradictory however complementary.
Don’t you suppose it’s doubtless that God has designed kids to perform finest when they’re cherished as kids and they’re cherished as grandchildren? As a grandparent, you may love your grandchildren freely and unconditionally and with out expectation. You’ll be able to pray for them and you’ll converse with them to show them about your Savior. You’ll be able to mannequin godly residing and godly dying.
Proverbs 17:6 says “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,” and absolutely grandchildren are the best and brightest crown when they’re following your God and strolling in his methods. So why don’t you pray them on their method? And why don’t you educate them in regards to the God of their fathers and the God of their grandfathers? Don’t simply be a grandparent—be a distinctly Christian grandparent.