As a part of the Parenting Workshop in the Spring, Glenn Havumaki talked to grandparents about their role of parenting. Glen sums it up for us in this summer review.
Grandparents have the second greatest influence in a child’s life, next to the parent. There are 80 million grandparents in America, today, of which about 30 million are Christian grandparents. Statistics tell us that 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren part or full time, and about 1 in 10 are surrogate grandparents, influencing children that are not of their own family. Many grandparents are long distance grandparents to their families. Some have estranged relationships with their adult children, and 50-60% of grandparents have a divorced adult child, which sometimes contributes to the difficult relationships that affect the ability to have contact with grandchildren. 70-75% of Christian grandparents have at least one adult child who is not walking with Lord, and this also hinders the ability to have spiritual input with grandchildren. Since grandparents have such great spiritual influence, it is wise to consider how to go about Grandparenting from a Biblical point of view. In building relationships with grandchildren, we want to come alongside our adult children, to see how we can encourage and be a conduit to help our families to walk in the truth of Scripture, and to help raise up Godly grandchildren who come to know Jesus, walk with Him and serve him; hopefully, all the days of their lives. If you cannot have contact, or it is limited by factors beyond your control, you need to find a few grandparents to pray with, and to serve as a source of encouragement…some folks to give support and a listening ear.
Maybe your family is doing fine and you have a great relationship with your adult children and the grandkids. But that is not the situation for many in our world today. Dobson tells of a teacher who asked her students to write a number of sentences that began with the words, “I wish…” She thought that they would write about their desires for bicycles, toys, animals, and trips to theme parks, etc. Instead, twenty of the thirty students made reference to the breakup of their families or conflict at home. Simply growing up is a major undertaking for some children! Many of these kids will drag their problems into future relationships. Then the pattern of disintegration will repeat itself in the next generation. We grandparents have a great opportunity to build relationships with our adult children and grandchildren that will help protect our children from the influence of Satan and sin.
Let’s NOT be a part of a Generational Slide…but rather a Generational Guide. There are many things that pull at the mind and heart of our grandkids, and we don’t want to lose the next generation as did Joshua. His grandchildren’s did not know God or the things the He had done! Judges 2:10 describes this sad happening, “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers (Joshua’s), another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord or the work which he had done…”
One word describes that Biblical role of the grandparent and that is “Heritage.” Proverbs 13:22 states, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” This happens through teaching and telling; intentionally taking every opportunity to do so.
In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, Moses instructs the people, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Teaching is the knowledge side and it should start early (2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15), be plain and simple (1 Corinthians 15:3,4), happen frequently (2 Timothy 3: 14 and 15), with patience (1 Thessalonians 2:9-12), and be Christ-Centered (Luke 24:27; John 5:39). Telling is the experience side. Tell about yourself: stories of upbringing, family heritage, spiritual heritage, etc. and Tell about Him: your practical and everyday experiences of lessons learned spiritually. Consistently, faithfully, intentionally, Teaching and Telling will yield a heritage, a legacy that will carry on for generations to come.
RISE UP! And Consider the Grand Calling: Taking the stage for your biggest life role yet…as a Grandparent. Enter the Divine School in which you join forces with your adult children to Teach and Tell under the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ and leave a heritage that will go forward four to five generations! (Psalm 78: 5-7)
Check out christiangrandparenting.net for resources. And consider attending the Second Grandparenting Summit in Rockwall, TX at the Lakepointe Church on November 2-4. Last year over 800 grandparents showed up for the first ever Grandparenting Summit …expecting 1200-1600 this year.
For all the details check out the website: legacygrandparentingsummit.com