I love my grandchildren! I guess most grandparents love their grandkids. God gives us this bond with them. I’ve analyzed this at length, and part of it has to do with getting a mini do-over. We get to be a “shadow” parent, not real parents, but right behind. Another reason is I can see me in them. I see personality traits, good or bad that they are developing that reminds me of…well me.
My oldest grandson, Tyler, is like a little Paul skipping a generation. His personality is like me in so many ways that I am fearful he will learn the lessons of life by trial and error the same way I did. But when it comes down to it, I am not his parent, and I can’t parent him the way his mom and dad can. However, I can take him out for a pancake breakfast, to the driving range, play a board game or see another “Defender of the Universe” movie. We had some good times together. We talked, we played games, we traded jokes, we worshiped in church together, and we bonded.
Being a grandparent has given me a different perspective on the character of God. It’s like knowing a person before they get older sort of like God knowing me before I grew up. I pray that I’ve been a good example to him while we have had our time together and he says, “What would grampy do?” (just kidding), but I pray more importantly that my faith in Christ and my example would lead him to say, “What would Jesus do?” In some ways they are inseparable. He has seen my character, my humor, and my faith at work. In Jesus, he knows God’s character and His eternal nature. (I’m not sure what God thinks about humor.) Hopefully, the connection is there. If grampy can love him, Jesus can love him too.
For me, grandparenting must be intentional. With work, travel, church responsibilities, time with our friends and everyday life, it is easy not to take the time to care. It’s easier not to pick up the phone or text and ask him out for breakfast. It is a lot easier to do nothing. After all, he has his friends, his family, and his activities at school. Why would he want to hang out with the old guy? But occasionally he does, and that time is precious.
Last year we moved out of state, and one of the hardest things in the move was to be away from Tyler. I know he is in good hands, but I won’t be able to see him on a regular basis. I do pray for him, but it is intermittent. I believe firmly in prayer and its power to heal, lead, guide and protect. But it’s harder now that we live over ten hours away.
A verse that comes to mind is John 13:14 – If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. Jesus was demonstrating the nature of God as a servant leader. You may question how this relates to grandparenting, but being a servant to others is essential, even to my teenage grandson, who needs some good feet washing. He may not understand now, but later he will.
My “Paul” is named Jaila; her mom (my daughter) is a single parent carrying the full load with no paternal support of any kind beyond a periodic phone call. They lived with my wife and I for the first six years of her life and thought that I was her father until the age of three when she understood the relationship. I am inspired by the article to be more intentional in by relationship with my granddaughter from this moment forward. Thank you for “The Irin That Sharpens Iron!”
I love Hebrews 13:7 for grandfathers – the leaders or ‘patriarchs’ of their families. Almighty God instructs followers, including grandchildren to: “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”
Step 1 – SPEAK the Word of God to our grandchildren (Deut 6:4-7).
Step 2 – Live by FAITH, not just by sight. (II Cor 5:7)
Step 3 – Finish STRONG. Give the grandkids a model of a life well lived! (II Tim 4:7)
Thank you for your wise words.
Trust your ministry is going well.
I am so excited about becoming a grandfather. I was, by no means, the perfect dad, but I have two wonderful boys. My oldest and his sweet wife are going to give me and my sweet wife our first grandchild in September, 2019. I loved going fishing with my grandfather when I was a child. However, I can count on one hand how many times I have been fishing since he passed away, nearly 35 years ago. It wasn’t the fishing that I loved… It was the man I was fishing with. Who knows… I might become a fisherman again. ?
If I was a soothsayer, I would say there is fishing in your future. Enjoy the moments with your future grand kids. It will pay off for the Kingdom, beyond any words they can receive from others.