“I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” 2 Tim. 1:5
Mother’s Day is especially big business for card companies, florists and restaurants. Introduced by Anna Jarvis in 1908 as a memorial to her mother, she was successful in getting Congress to make it an official US holiday in 1914, signed by President Woodrow Wilson. By the 1920’s she was already disappointed by the commercialization that had developed. Imagine what she would think today!
Anna Jarvis had one purpose in mind. She wanted families to stop and give honor to those who had brought them in this world. In fact, she specifically noted noted that ‘Mother's’ should be "a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother," not a plural possessive (Mothers’). She wanted it to be a very personal day, rather than a generic celebration of mothers in general.
“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Prov. 15:4
While a student at Denver Seminary (many years ago), then president Dr. Vernon Grounds, made an indelible impression at the time upon this young, naïve seminarian. This gracious, godly man went out of his way to make students feel valued and important. He always had a fresh word of encouragement for every student he met. It was his way. Not only did I feel valued, but that he expected great things from me in the future.
Ironically, a new professor joined the faculty I greatly respected who had a very different impact. It soon became clear tht he didn’t particularly like me. In fact, he let me know in no uncertain terms that he considered me nothing more than an ‘average’ student at best.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom the whole family in Heaven and on earth derives its name.” Eph. 3:14-15 (NIV)
I used to love singing an old Gaither song called The Family of God. The chorus went like this: “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God, I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood; Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod; I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God.”
I remember looking around at my church family as we sang that song feeling genuinely glad to be part of this family of God. With all its flaws, the sense of belonging I felt, and the love that flowed from that family was truly sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Even as a child and teenager, I felt valued by and connected to my church family.
God’s gift of family is a precious gift, but one that is being rapidly disassembled in this generation. The gift of family is not just about blood relatives….well, on second thought, maybe it is. In His amazing wisdom and love, Christ’s blood poured out for us on a Cross birthed a worldwide family of born-again brothers and sisters. We are joint heirs together in Jesus—blood relatives. While our immediate family is a special gift, to miss the treasure of being part of the greater family of God is like having a birthday cake without candles, ice cream and a party.
Recent research suggests that less than 4% of those children who grew up in the church will remain in the church as adults. Grandparents, these are our children and grandchildren we’re talking about. It is imperative that we help them experience the indescribable blessing and privilege it is to be part of a family of God before it is too late. It is my earnest prayer that my grandchildren and your grandchildren may genuinely delight, as I did growing up, in singing, “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God!”
So, how do we do that? Here are three actions that can make a difference in how your children and grandchildren view the family of God:
I Cor. 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.”
There are two ways to use the word magnify. One way is to describe the process of enlarging something not normally visible because it is so small so it can be seen. That’s what a microscope is for. The other way involves zooming in on something incredibly vast to reveal the glorious detail otherwise invisible to us. That’s what a telescope is for.
The glory of God is not so small we need a microscope to find it, but it is so vast we need a kind of spiritual telescope to begin to grasp and appreciate the magnitude and magnificence of His glory. What is the telescope God provides for us to magnify this glory? It is an authentic, holy life – a life renewed by the Spirit of God to magnify the splendor of God’s glory so others may see it up close.
A holy life is dedicated to making every detail of life reveal and makes much of His glory and greatness. What we eat or drink, or how we work and play – a holy life magnifies His glory for all to see. A holy life pulsates with a passion for God’s glory so that others cannot help but notice. Every part of life becomes the close-up lens of God’s glory – how I handle my finances, my relationships, my habits, my pleasures, my compassion for others.
That’s what it means to be an intentional grandparent. When your grandchildren see the glory of God in everything you do, I believe they will be drawn to that glory. How is your life telescope working right now? Is it focused on holy magnification or worldly magnification? Would your grandchildren understand what a holy life looks like by looking at you?
Perhaps you have some stories of how God has used you to help your grandchildren see the glory of God up close. It isn’t boastful to share those stories so that others might be encouraged when it’s about His glory. How has God shown you ways to magnify His glory for others to see?
GRANDPAUSE: “There is no shortcut to holiness; it must be the business of our whole lives.” William Wilberforce