I’m teaching a class on “How To Be a Great Grandparent” at my local church.
Okay, I can guess what those of you who know me are thinking. Karen, what do you know about grandparenting? You aren’t a grandparent – unless there’s something you aren’t telling us.
No, no grandkids. Of my own, at least. No pressure on my wonderful daughters who are doing what God is calling them to do, but my arms feel a wee tad empty. So I borrow neighbor’s kids for Easter egg dying parties, mimic baby noises at my youth minister’s seven-month-old and hold conversations with five year old little boys in Walmart check-out lines whenever mom gives me permission.
As i mingle with the kids in my church and community, I’m growing more and more concerned about the impact our culture is having on our children. And I’m convinced that the solution in molding and preparing our children for the future lies in the influence and stability a child can find in their godly grandparents. I truly believe grandparents can make a difference in the lives of their grandchildren and changes in the children will mean changes in our culture.
According to the book, “Building Faith at Home” by Mark Holmen, who do you think the third most influential person in a child’s life is? Well, since this is a blog about grandparenting, the answer is obvious. After Mom and Dad, in third place is grandparents. For the record, the youth minister is the thirteenth most influential person in a young person’s life.
I know a lot of grandparents feel discouraged. What can they do? How can they have an influence? The grandkids are too busy, they live too far away, this generation with their techno-toys is too different and difficult to understand, with the tug-of-war that already exists within divided families, a grandparent is lucky to see their grandchild grab a brownie off a Christmas plate before they run out the door. The obstacles seem insurmountable.
It makes me think of David and Goliath.
Ray Vanderlaan, in his geography of the Bible DVD series “That The World May Know” explains how David faced far more than the county tough guy. The Israelites were outnumbered, outclassed, and out-cultured. Lacking the iron technology of the Philistines, they were like a group of rednecks meeting up with a cadre of Navy Seals. Goliath probably baited the Israelites because he knew there was no way on God’s green earth that the Israelites could ever beat them.
He conveniently forgot there was a God.
And here’s the point Mr. Vanderlaan made. David was no fighter. But he took what he did know how to do. David was an expert stone thrower. As a shepherd, he had lots of practice using that sling shot. David took what he knew and faced the giant. Then he relied on his confidence in a God whose reputation was at stake to do the impossible.
And that’s where grandparenting comes in. We need to take what we know, do what we can do and do it. We need to make the children of this generation a priority. We need to face the obstacles and rely on God’s power to overcome them. Because, if you haven’t noticed, our culture is a mess. The only way we will be able to reclaim our culture for Christ is to reach the hearts and minds of our young people.Tweet this. And the folks most equipped to change our culture are grandparents.
Sure, grandkids will disrupt your schedule, cost you money or make you exchange your glass collectables for a basket of garage sale toys. You’ll feel many times over that you are too old for this kid-raising thing.
But they’re worth it. It has to be done. Our children are being lost through the cracks because parents are too busy or too wounded and public school classrooms are overcrowded and underfunded. On top of that, our kids are being overwhelmed by technology, media, and cultural values that they are not mature enough emotionally to handle.
They need older, godly adults to provide stability, exemplify godliness, and give generous doses of unconditional love. If grandparents don’t reach out to the next generation, who will? Tweet this.