By Jim Ramsey
How did it happen so fast? It seems like yesterday our three daughters were still at home and our lives were caught up in the daily project of seeking to steer them in the right direction in life. We now have twelve grandchildren and despite the normal challenges that come with the territory, we love being grandparents. What a privilege and what a responsibility as well! They have been entrusted to us and, as grandparents, we can help them by giving them the following gifts:
1. Inspirational Personal Testimony
Do our grandchildren have the assurance that their grandparents know God personally? By life and language do we consistently demonstrate our faith to them? Are we committed to faithful attendance in a local church? Do we encourage our grandchildren to do likewise?
2. Involvement with their parents
We owe our grandchildren a proper relationship with their parents, our children. We must not be “second parents” and we must be discreet in our counsel to them as they raise their children. A strained or non-existent relationship can gender emotional damage to grandchildren and breed insecurity in their lives. Open communication between us and our children allows us to work as a team to properly direct our grandchildren.
3. Intercessory prayer
Do we pray for our grandchildren and do they know that we do? We must pray for them daily, individually, and specifically. Pray for their salvation and that they would have a heart for God. Pray for their physical health and protection. Pray that they will develop healthy friendships. Pray for the proper adult influences in their lives. Pray that God will develop His character in them. Pray for them as they seek to know God’s will for their future as an adult. We will never regret the time we spend before the Lord on their behalf.
In the Bible, God commands grandparents to intentionally teach His principles to both children and children’s children (Deuteronomy 6: 6-9). It goes without saying that if we do not include the Bible in our lives we can never transfer Bible knowledge to our grandchildren. We need to hear it preached and taught and we must spend time reading it daily. We can teach our grandchildren to love and respect God’s Word and we owe them our best effort in doing so.
5. Indelible memories
Making memories is a great part of being a grandparent and time spent with our grandchildren brings tremendous joy and satisfaction. We need to spend time making memories, but we also need to spend time sharing memories! Our grandchildren need to hear our stories, to see our old photos, to learn how life was in years past. They need to hear about God’s working in our lives and to be reminded that He has not changed!
As grandparents we have the privilege of giving gifts to our grandchildren. It’s not wrong for us to give them “things” but let’s be intentional in giving them life principles as well.