“Affirm, validate and encourage your adult children as parents.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 1, 2022
by Guest Writer Bill Ibsen
For this cause a man shall LEAVE his father and his mother, and shall CLEAVE to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
My very good friend Bill Ibsen and I have followed Jesus together for over 17 years. We have been in an intimate community group with our wives for 12 years and traveled to Israel and India with our 16-year-old daughters. In addition, we have enjoyed a book club studying classics over the past 8 years. I love and admire Bill for his love for the Lord and his family. Wisdom Hunters is blessed to share Bill’s wisdom on grandparenting as he and Alison enjoy the company of five grandbabies! Here’s the fifth of five devotionals on grandparenting:
Loving grandchildren well involves healthy boundaries for grandparents!
Give Adult Children Respectful Attention
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).
Always acknowledge my child and their spouse quickly after greeting my grandkids. Give attention to them so that they are assured that my relationship with them is also important (i.e. avoid communicating that my son/daughter and their spouse are merely utilitarian conduits to my grandkids). The more we can build a culture of understanding and empathy the more trust grows.
Encourage, Encourage, Encourage
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Seek, find and verbalize the many good things my kids are doing as parents and spouses. Affirm, validate, and encourage them, just as I wished someone would have done for me during those difficult, stretching years! A good parent shouldn’t be a critic; but a good grandparent must be an encourager! Never follow an encouraging statement with a “but… i.e. “You’re so patient with Jimmy, BUT you should/shouldn’t….” Freely give affirmations!
“Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Proverbs 3:12).
When grandkids are disobedient, disrespectful, or dishonest, how we as grandparents are instructed by their parents to handle the matter is the parent’s sole decision. That being said, it is primarily the parent’s job to work with the child to get them to behave for the grandparents (or babysitters, for that matter). If they don’t behave, we reserve the right to return the grandchild to the parents so that they can deal with the disciplinary issues. Grandparents reserve veto rights to not take kids who refuse to behave. Discipline is the role of the parents, supported by the grandparents.
Heavenly Father, give me loving patience to trust my children to discipline their children, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
How can I make my child feel supported by me in how they discipline their child? Consider discussing this Wisdom series on grandparenting with your adult child or as an adult child with your parents.
We the Kingdom: Child of Love
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