Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
“Be with me, kids,” I insist, “be with me.” They grudgingly remove ear buds, but escape to their rooms as soon as possible so that they can use their phones in peace. I have to compete with endless influence from rappers, friends, games, movies, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, who seemingly have twenty-four hour access to the minds of my lineage.
I refuse to relinquish opportunities to speak into my grandchildren’s lives because it might make me seem old-fashion or out of touch. I am old-fashion and out of touch – and it is perfectly okay! My children are great, modern parents. They are less bothered by the grandchildren’s diminished time communicating with people at family gatherings and the increased time they spend communicating with people who are not in the room with us.
God has given me a mandate through His word to speak words of life and guidance to my descendants at every opportunity. Yes, their parents have been given the same mandate, but I want to make sure that I do my part. There is much to share while I can.
I want to share stories about Granddad with them. They can see his face in a family portrait, but never had the opportunity to hear his voice or feel his touch. They should know that he had a sense of humor, was family oriented, and had a strong work ethic. He was a great father who was more of a friend than a parent and loved unconditionally.
While I am with them, I want to answer all of their questions about me. My own mother shared little of her life before me, so I do not know my roots. I have tried to live a life that my grandchildren can be proud of and want to emulate. However, my life has not been perfect, and I am willing to share the mistakes with them too. Most of all I want them to know that I love Jesus.
Every chance I get I ask about their goals and dreams. It is paramount that they know that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. I encourage them to think big because they serve a big God. Even though they do not always want to hear it, I stress prayer, Bible study, church attendance, and service to others. I am confident that my words will come back to them when I am gone.
It is important to me that my grandchildren talk to me when they are with me. I count it a privilege and an honor to help train them up in the way they should go. I trust God to do His part and make sure they do not depart from the wisdom given to them when they are older. They are my future.
Grandparents, is it important to you that you speak into the lives of your grandchildren or do you feel it is the sole responsibility of their parents?