In my conversations about grandparenting, people often ask if there is more to grandparenting than babysitting and gift-giving. Scripture’s answer is definitively, “YES!”
Check your Bible. Mine says:
- Proverbs 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of the aged.
A crown is a sign of the dignity of the person who wears it. Being a grandparent is a role that is worthy of honor.
- Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.
Inheritance…naturally, the first thing that comes to our minds is money, but that’s because we live now, not 3000 years ago! An inheritance was not cash then. It was a “standing” in the community that came from being descended from a “worthy” person. Your children’s children had your virtues because they were passed along in your family: honesty, integrity, hospitality, reliability, all the components of what today we call relational intelligence. A good lineage was much more valuable than a large pile of money!
- Titus 2:2-4 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children.
Older men and women, that is to say those of grandparenting age, conferred their wisdom upon their grandchildren. This was not done in a classroom or online. It was passed on in the course of ordinary life during the conversations that happened while working, herding, milking, cooking, or cleaning. It was personal and often one-on-one.
- Psalm 71:18 says: “So, even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.
You have a role to play. The writer of this Psalm knew his role: he was to tell the stories of what God had done for him to future generations. The same is true for grandparents today. You likely have more time now than you did when you were younger and you have gained confidence that God does work things for the good over time and often in ways we never expected. So don’t be afraid to share your stories, passing on virtues like patience, kindness and generosity.
You have much wisdom to offer your grandchildren. You are not finished yet!
Pili Abouchaar is the Grandly Missions Program Director. She is the mother of one with baby number two on the way.
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