What does intentionality as a grandparent look like from the perspective of a parent? I recently had the privilege of sitting down with John Stonestreet from the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview to discuss that very question.
John is one of those rare men who ‘gets’ what is going on in our culture, is alert to the dangers facing today’s family, and understands how Christians ought to respond and engage with the lies fostered by that culture. For that reason, I think you will find John’s views about intentional grandparenting in today’s world worth considering. John suggests five things that should be part of intentionality.
- Get over the barrier that younger generations don’t want to hear what you have to say. John suggests that if there is trust and respect in your relationships with your children and grandchildren, they will want to hear your stories and your views…and so will others among the younger generations. On the other hand, they probably won’t want to hear what you have to say if you are preachy, negative or judgmental.
- Be excited about your relationship with Christ and all that is true. Nothing so turns off the younger generations than hypocrisy. It’s not enough to say you believe something to be true. Exude joy and excitement in living it out in all of life. Christ must be more than one of several heroes in your life. He must be Lord—and that should be exciting.
- Create intentional moments to talk about life and listen well. Most parents want you to have a positive impact on their children so they are not getting all their information about life from peers, media or their teachers. Listening well builds trust, and opens up opportunities to talk about life and truth.
- Don’t hide your imperfections, but make sure your marriage is together. Be real, but let them see you working hard to make marriage what it ought to be according to the biblical definition of marriage. Nothing will counter the lies about marriage and family more powerfully than the living example of a good marriage that sees the imperfections as an opportunity to grow more fully into maturity in Christ.
- Honor your grown parents’ authority. They have the primary responsibility for disciplining their children, not you. Never discipline your grandchildren in front of your adult children, unless they have given permission and deem it appropriate.
So, what does ‘intentionality’ look like to you? Is there anything you would add to John’s list?
"You can find daily commentaries from John Stonestreet at www.breakpoint.org."
We need your help to reach our $40,000 Project Goal for 2016 to equip and empower today's grandparents to live out their biblical roles. Our projects include...
- Ministry Partner training and development
- GIA (Grandparents In Action) series, and
- DIY GrandCamp Manual
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