A Better Resolution

NewYear FreshStart

Four Kinds of Grandparents - Part Two

It’s a new year! A time for some new beginnings. I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, but there is one resolution I would get behind as opportunity to impact another generation. It’s the resolution of intentionality.

I’m not talking about being intentional about going to the gym, or reading a good book. I’m talking about the kind of intentionality that is part of what Larry Fowler, CEO of the Legacy Coalition, calls four kinds of Christian grandparents. I wrote about this a few weeks ago. Larry has observed that Christian typically fall into one of these four categories: Biblical grandparents, Cultural grandparents, Blocked grandparents and Unequipped grandparents.

 

Using the term ‘biblical grandparents’, Larry means those who are intentional about putting into practice the biblical roles God has commanded for grandparents. Who doesn’t want to be a biblical grandparent. But it’s not about being perfect. It’s about intentionally watching for opportunities to teach about and display God’s greatness and grace to another generation. In fact, this matter of intentionality is so critical, that I am going to devote most of my blogs for 2017 to the subject of intentionality.

So, how about a fresh start for you in this matter during 2017? Imagine the impact millions of Christian grandparents could have on the next generation if we all lived with intentionality. I’m not talking about good intentions, but a deliberate choice to put into practice was God has commanded us to do so another generation may know Him and walk in His truth.

Truthfully, we may want to be biblical grandparents, but most of us know that we are prone to wander in complacency, get stuck in the muck of cultural pressures, stagger under relational obstacles, or wallow in feelings of incompetence. These are things common to all of us, if we’re honest. Yet, we need to remember the words of Peter that “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who has called us by His glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). That means we are without excuse.

So, how do we deal with the demons we all face, and find victory in Christ as biblical grandparents? If I may be so presumptuous, I see five essential components of intentionality that relates directly to biblical grandparenting:

  1. Believe: Do you believe what God says is true? Do you believe He is all-knowing, all-powerful, righteous judge, yet full of love, grace and mercy? What you believe about God and what He says will determine the direction you choose. If you don’t believe God will hold you accountable for what He has asked you to do, then you won’t have much motivation to do it. If you don’t believe God will direct your steps and that He will never forsake you, then you won’t take those first steps. Belief is the ignition switch of a victorious life. Make a list of things you have trouble believing about God? Ask Him to increase your faith.
  2. Remember: Throughout Scripture God instructs us to “remember”. Remember the wondrous things He has done, the grace and love He has shown, the miracles we have witnessed and about which we have heard, and the blessings He has so abundantly provided. Remembering strengthens our faith and trust, because we already know His record of faithfulness. Forgetting paralyzes us. Remembering animates us. Write down the powerful ways God has revealed His power and grace to you over the years? 
  3. Link Up: God rarely calls us to a solo act. While He has promised to always be with us, He has also called us into His family. We are members of the Body of Christ. Fools believe they do not need anyone else. They can do it themselves. A wise man knows otherwise, and welcomes the partnership of those with like minds and hearts. Who do you know that you could ask to join you regularly to hold you accountable to be an intentional, biblical grandparent this year?
  4. Pray: Prayer is another one of those pieces that reflects what I truly believe. Do I believe God cares enough to hear my prayers? Do I actually believe that the prayers of a righteous person are powerful? Prayer is surrendering my agenda to God’s; aligning my heart with His; acknowledging my utter dependence upon Him and His wisdom. Prayer is the powerplant of a victorious life. Why not invite several other grandparents to meet with you regularly this year to pray for your grandchildren and their parents?
  5. Act: God already promised we have everything we need to act. We have but to act. Jesus said a fool does not put into practice what he knows to be true. The wise man understands that when God speaks, it’s time to do what He says. That’s intentionality! What specific things is God commanding you to do as a grandparent this year? (Read Deut. 4:9)

So, what are your excuses? Are you more concerned about what the cultural trends are, or God’s truth? Do you worry more about what others think, our what God says? Do you fret over broken relationships and barriers in your family, or are you open to hear what God asks you to do? Are you more inclined to try and fix things rather than to pause and wait upon the Lord listening for His wisdom and instruction through the Word and His Spirit?

The choice is yours. I can’t think of a better New Year’s Resolution than to say, "Lord, I believe. Here am I. Show me how I can make much of you in the eyes of my children and grandchildren this year.”

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