7 POWERFUL WAYS TO BE A GRANDPARENT WHO MATTERS
If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
I hear comments like these about grandparents more often than I would like:
“I’d like to have a special relationship with my grandparents, but they’re so critical. I just don’t want to be around them.”
“My parents are constantly undermining my parenting and relationship with our kids. Why can’t they support us?”
“I really want my children to know my parents. They’ve done such a great job parenting themselves. But they are completely disconnected from their grandchildren, and that grieves me a lot.”
I want to be fair and say that I also hear plenty of amazing stories about grandparents enjoying incredible relationships with their adult children and their grandchildren. Their stories move me to be an even better grandparent myself. Still, there is a lot of pain going around out there.
At CGN we stress the importance of strong, healthy adult-child relationships in famlies. I believe most of you want to be effective, intentional grandparents who really do matter in the lives of both grown children and grandchildren. So, I’d like to offer seven powerful ways you can be a grandparent who matters—the kind that both your grown children and your grandchildren really want to be around. Here they are:
Do you believe grandparents matters—or should matter? Grandparents stand in a unique position of being the second most powerful potential spiritual influencers in a child’s life. Only parents possess a higher potential influence.
Since 1998 the Christian Grandparenting Network has worked to convince grandparents that they matter in the lives of their grandchildren. We call it intentionality—an intentional choice to live for the next generations that they may know, love and serve Christ. We have struggled over these years to make our voice known, and while God has allowed us to witness His grace and blessing in this calling, it has only been recently that we have seen an explosion of His favor in this arena.
I recently read about Adam LaRoche’s sudden decision to retire from Major League Baseball after he was informed by the Chicago White Sox that his 14-year-old son, Drake, could no longer accompany him to the club house every day. Adam walked away from $13 million he would have been guaranteed for the remainder of his salary contract.
The interesting thing to me about this story is the reactions of people all over the internet. While many supported his decision believing LaRoche did the right thing, the majority of people criticized him for the decision. Some believed he had no business taking his son to the clubhouse every day in the first place and should have simply followed their demands. After all, who else can take their son or daughter to work every day? After all, it’s stupid to throw away $13M and let down the team just so his son could join him everyday in the clubhouse. What would it hurt to hang on six months and then retire? That’s just plain weird.
LaRoche, on the other hand, doesn’t see it that way. While admitting that he was mad when Ken Williams, the team’s vice president, told him he could no longer bring his son to the team clubhouse, he also acknowledged that he “gets it” and doesn’t hold a grudge. He even said he “can’t blame him’ for the decision. He gets it.
It’s just that Adam LaRoche has a different, in fact, peculiar, perspective
This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your Name… (Matthew 6:9 NIV)
When was the last time you used the word hallow or hallowed? Probably not recently—unless you were reciting the Lord’s Prayer. It’s not exactly one of those words commonly used in our everyday conversations.
The word ‘hallowed’ actually comes from an Old English word with German roots. It is translated ‘hallowed’ because that is the English word we have closest to the actual original word in German—holyed. I think the New Living Translation captures the meaning well: "May your name be kept holy"… because it already is.
In a day when God’s Name is often trivialized or taken in vain, grandparents are often in a significant place of influence to teach another generation why it is important to keep His Name holy. There may few, if any, other influences that are doing it.
How do I handle a difficult relationship with my adult children so it doesn’t hinder my relationship with my grandchildren? How do I stay connected with my grandchildren as a long distance grandparent? What are ways I can share my faith more effectively with my grandchildren, especially as teenagers?
These are just a few of the questions I am constantly getting from grandparents—mostly questions common to many of us. Perhaps you have questions and concerns as a grandparent, and would welcome the opportunity to talk about them with other grandparents and someone experienced in dealing with some of these issues. If so, I’d like to invite you to join in the conversation through Grand Chats.
- The Not-So-Grand Side of Grandparenting
- Of First Importance!
- Is There Laugher in Your Walls?
- Are You an In-Spite-Of or If-Only Grandparent?
- Fearful or Fearless?
- You Can't Give What You Don't Have
- A Grandparent's Blessing
- What Does Intentionality Look Like?
- What Does It Mean to Train Up a Child?
- A Cool Tool for Telling the Christmas Story
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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