September 18, 2017

Grand-Parenting Teachable Moments

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 18, 2017

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5

A few weeks ago I came home to a sad sight. Our six-year-old grandson Hudson, with sullen face, said slowly, almost weepily, “Pop, we can’t have pizza tonight”. My wife Rita, affectionally known as BiBi (Swahili for grandmother), explained the broader context, “I have hamburger patties prepared to grill tonight and tomorrow for dinner we will enjoy pizza.” I thought about telling my little man to suck it up and change his attitude, but a livelier thought occurred to me, let’s make this a fun teachable moment for all of us. So, I knelt down, looked my disheartened grandson in the eyes and attempted to turn this into a helpful, enjoyable life lesson.  

“Sometimes in life, we don’t get our way, and even though we are disappointed we can have a grateful attitude for all we do have. So, Hudson, we are going to play a game, it’s called the Gratitude Game, and you are in charge of keeping score. Every time Bibi or I catch you or one of your two brothers being thankful, you receive a point.” Thank you Pop for putting me in charge.” “Hudson, you just earned a point!” For the next 24 hours, three motivated grandsons looked for ways to be grateful. The two oldest not surprisingly tied with 38 points, the youngest scored a respectable 13. All contestants celebrated with a $5 award to spend at the dollar store!

Legacy of faith in Christ was the best gift Timothy’s mom and grandmother could give him, sadly his dad was still an unbeliever (Acts 16:1). What he learned as a child was better understood and embraced as his own faith as an adult. His mentor, Paul, saw compelling evidence of a faith alive in the heart of his protege. No doubt Timothy lived out what he saw first hand from the hand of his faithful mom and grandmother: perhaps hands that tucked him in at night with reassuring prayers, hands that comforted his hurting heart or hands that prepared him meals. Grandparents of faith have a captive audience, open to learn about God and watch faith lived out.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).

Being an engaged grandparent can be exhausting, so we are wise to pace ourselves and not allow our fatigue to force us to forget the bigger purpose of being in the life of our little ones: to be an attractive example of what it means to love and follow Jesus. Don’t look for the perfect situation to speak truth, in fact, it’s sometimes better for a child to learn life lessons from their very real and imperfect world. For example, take the time to pray together for those suffering from a natural disaster and show them how to give directly to those in need. Or all together, greet at the street the trash collectors with $20, and thank them for their helpful service. Look for ways to give.

Best of all, we seek to teach our grandchildren about genuine faith in God through Jesus Christ. Read them the Bible stories of Hannah’s prayers, David’s courage, Ruth’s love, Joseph’s forgiveness and Jesus’ humility. Take them to church, explain what means to become a Christian and why baptism is important. Tell them stories of other faithful Christians like Corrie ten Boom, William Wilberforce, Henrietta Mears and Bill Bright. Christianity is caught as well as taught, so be a contagious Christian and infect your grandchild with a heart of intimacy for their Savior Jesus and integrity with their friends. Look for teachable moments and teach!

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).



Heavenly Father, show me how to show my grandchildren Your wise ways, in Jesus’ name, amen.


What lessons from the Lord can I creatively lead my little ones to learn?

Related Reading

Deuteronomy 4:9, 11:19; Psalm 78:5; John 8:30-32; 1 John 3:18;

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Be a contagious Christian who infects others with a heart of intimacy for their Savior Jesus and integrity with their friends. #grandparents #wisdomhunters

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