September 17, 2009

Teach Your Grandchildren

Written by Boyd Bailey

Teach Your Grandchildren… “Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and their children after them.” Deuteronomy 4:9

Grandchildren really are exceptionally grand. You can spoil them and then send them home to their parents. But grandparents are grand to the grandchild as well. You are bigger than life. Your warm smile and gentleness is a safe environment for their little personalities to cling. The grandchild can’t wait to eat your food, hear your stories and be treated like a prince or princess. As a grandparent it is almost like you have a second chance to parent without having the full responsibility. Can you imagine that?

Though you do not have the direct responsibility to parent your precious little ones, you do have the responsibility to impart your wisdom and life experiences. So they can learn from your mistakes and be inspired to follow God and do their very best in life. Your position of influence is staggering. Do not take it for granted. Use it to point these moldable hearts to Jesus. You are bigger than life to them, so point them beyond yourself to eternal life with God. So what does it look like to teach your grandchildren?

Be a babysitter and you will never lack for opportunities to influence your grandchildren. Your children will “rise up and call you blessed” every time you give them a break from the kids. Or maybe you can be a surrogate grandparent for those who do not have grandparents? The safe environment you provide for your children to drop off their children is invaluable for both of you. Where else can you have this much fun?

Play games with them, explore, build a campfire, go shopping, play hide and seek, make believe and dress up. Trips are another fun teaching tool. Plan ahead and expose them to other places and people that will broaden their perception and give them a greater appreciation and understanding about different types of cultures. But all the time you are conscientiously weaving God’s truth into the conversation and in theirs’ and your behavior.

Yes, this is the stage of life when you may be winding down and you do not have as much energy as before, but what an opportunity. Regardless of their stage of life: pure preschoolers, energetic children, or idealistic teenagers, they will keep you young. Refuse to quietly slip away and do your own thing. Stay engaged in the lives of your grandkids, for their sakes, but more importantly for the sake of God’s glory. Do I point my children and grandchildren beyond myself to the Lord, so our godly legacy will live on? “I have been 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).

Related Readings: Psalm 103:17; Proverbs 13:22; 17:6; 1 Timothy 5:4

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