“Isn’t it great to be a grandparent? You get to spoil them and give them back to their parents!”
This is a common response when people find out I am a grandparent, but it reveals an incorrect and incomplete view from a biblical perspective.
My wife and I are enjoying this phase of life in ways beyond what we imagined just a few short years ago. We thoroughly enjoy spending time with these sweet blessings from the Lord. While the simple pleasure of spending special time with our grandkids is a good thing, God’s vision for grandparenting is much greater. We should embrace God’s vision for grandparenting and help (not hinder) our children in their role as parents.
Christian grandparents have a unique opportunity to impact the spiritual lives of their grandchildren.
Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.”
Psalm 78:5-7 says, “He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.”
Our job isn’t over once we have raised our children. As these passages instruct, the responsibility of spiritual influence to the next generation continues.
Make sure your grandchildren understand who God is, what He has instructed in His Word and that He loves them.
Here are five things to consider as we live out this important role:
We can’t pass on what we are not embracing ourselves. As Deuteronomy 4 reminds us, we must take care and guard our soul diligently. Stand firm in who you are as a child of God and reflect regularly on what He has done in your life. This firm foundation and proper motivation will make all the difference in what you pass on.
The old saying is true — actions often do speak louder than words. As Paul instructs in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” Little eyes are watching. Let them see an authentic example of what a surrendered, growing life in Christ looks like.
Words are important, too. Make sure your grandchildren understand who God is, what He has instructed in His Word and that He loves them (even more than we do)! Take time to tell them the story of your spiritual journey.
Grandparents should do all they can to support their children as they parent and raise their families. A visit to the grandparents should not result in damage control when the kids go back home. While we get to enjoy special times and maybe a few special (agreed upon) privileges, grandparents should be careful to provide consistency and not to undermine parental authority.
Pray for wisdom and lift your children and grandchildren up to the Lord every day. We need His strength and grace to fulfill our role as grandparents. We also want to see our children thrive in their parenting and our grandchildren grow in their faith.
We need to capture a God-sized vision for these important years. May God give us what we need to pass on the baton of faith to our children and our grandchildren.