Gospel Grand-parenting, Part 2, Being Intentional
Gospel Grand-parenting, Part 2,
Being Intentional – Practical Suggestions
Kids love visiting grandparents! Why is this true? Because grandparents are loving and take great interest in their grandchildren. Dad and mom are often overloaded, over-worked and overwhelmed with the responsibilities of a being in the building stage of life and having a house full of children. Not to let dad and mom off the hook, but grandparents are typically in a different stage of life. They may not have as much energy but they certainly have more time and understanding about what is really important in this life. So, they enjoy the children when we parents often endure the children. I won’t say much about this but it becomes obvious that grandparents have a lot to offer their grown children too – if we listen (watch “Gospel Grand-parenting, Part 1” on Coggins Memorial Baptist Church’s Youtube Channel.
What are some practical ways that you as a grandparent can be intentional about being a Gospel Focused Grandparent? Here are a few suggestions that will help you as you pray for God to use you to start a multigenerational movement for Christ in your family.
Be intentional about family gatherings.
Don’t just eat, tell jokes and watch sports when you are all together as a family. Carve out time for Scripture reading, for leaders of the family to share experiences, stories, memories & beliefs. Teach, guide and instruct, informally of course. It is my experience that many families are without guidance from loving, Christ-filled leadership – step up and provide it. Someone may not like it; remember you are seeking to win your family for God’s kingdom. If your actions are filled with love, affirmation, and patience most of them will catch on and even appreciate it. You can still do those other things. Usually, it’s not what we are doing that hurts a good family but what is being neglected. Include as many as you can of the family in your work. God will bless your efforts.
Choose one of your children to mentor for Christ-honoring family leadership.
This takes skill. Mentor them all or it will simply appear to be favoritism. Often, one of our children is, like Jacob in the Bible, spiritually sensitive and eager to call others to Christ. Carefully cultivate that one to carry on your missionary work for Christ in your family. Grandfathers, you should choose a son or grandson while grandmothers choose a daughter or granddaughter to mentor. Be careful; he or she is NOT your pet but your disciple. The goal is family unity around Jesus Christ and His Word.
Write to them.
- Keep a journal – share your faith in it.
- Write your family’s history showing God’s hand in the events that make up your family’s past. Point out all those who believed in Christ and served Him. Be truthful but not secular. Secularism is a lie. It says that life is lived apart from God and faith. The believer cannot see the world through such a lens. Scripture says, “The just shall live by faith.” All events are lived out before His eyes and hence should be interpreted according to His Word.
- Letter writing is a lost art. Write to your children and grandchildren letters sharing your faith, love and affirmation sprinkled with warnings. Share God’s Word and your payers and hopes for them.
- Songs, poems, essays, short stories – be creative!
Share yourself with them.
- Be supportively present.
- Include them in projects & hobbies.
- Tell them your stories, preferably while they are still young.
- Share your passions and why you love them.
- Share how you came to believe and trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord.
- Tell them about people and books that powerfully influenced your life.
- Share with them your loves, sorrows & dislikes – yes, I said dislikes.
Read to them.
- To them when they are young. Be selective; include Christ-honoring books.
- With them when they are older. Ask them what they are reading and if they mind if you read it too so that you can share and converse with them.
Invest financially in them.
- By them good Christ-honoring books.
- Pay their way or, better yet, let them earn it, to hear John Piper, John MacArthur, Alistair Begg or some other Biblical preacher.
- When they express interest in the things of Christ find a way to help them pursue Him and a greater knowledge of His Word.
- Be intentional about how you invest your financial resources in their lives.
Be a bridge for them.
Purposefully bridge the gap between their generation and yours by explaining why certain things in your generation were/are important. Don’t make the mistake of trying to bridge the gap by acting their age. They don’t expect you to do that and besides it can be a little weird. They need you and your experience to shed light on their own. Share how the generations before them understood God’s Word and how they sought to obey it. Young people often struggle to understand previous generations. This is often true because we have not done a very good job of lovingly and passionately explaining it to them. We must become better at this.
- Grandfathers must find ways to communicate to their grandsons what it means to be a man for Christ.
- Grandmothers must find ways to mentor their granddaughters in an expression of womanhood that is consistent with Scripture.
Draw them deeper.
Grandparents, I have noticed, have an uncanny ability to call young people to a deeper understanding of the world around them, away from the trappings of pop-culture. I have watched this happen over and over. I am a product of it. It’s not always true, obviously, but I have often observed preteens and teens being drawn progressively away from the shallow and foolish pop-culture by the wisdom of a loving grandparent.
For more information on learning how to honor God as a grandparent check out the ministries of Drs. Rob Rienow and Larry Fowler on the web: Visionary Family Ministry (www.visionaryfam.com) and Legacy Coalition. (LegacyCoalition.com). Use your grandparent “superpowers” for God’s glory by sharing the things of Jesus Christ with your grandchildren.
Love You All In Christ,
_____________________________ SES | Crabapple FBC, Milton, GA | January 22, 2013, SES | New Hope BC, Denver, NC | 2013, SES | Coggins MBC | 5-7-2018 | Courier Newsletter