The Best Kept Secret: Welcome to New Grandparents!
“Children’s children are the crown to the aged ….” Proverbs 17:6
I remember the early summer morning when I held my first grandchild. Staring into the swaddled bundle, I gasped at the sweetness in my arms. I wondered, “Who are you?” As I speculated about the newest member of my family, a second question raced to my heart piercing its four chambers, “Who are YOU, Cathy, now you are a grandmother?”
At that moment I realized I was unprepared to be a grandmother. Not knowing my grandparents, I did not have a special relationship with this older generation. There was no one to role model for me the principles of being a grandmother. I felt ill-equipped for this new position handed to me by my daughter and son-in-law. Soon, though, my days were filled with squeals and cooing. Quickly, I fell in love with this little fellow. Never had I imagined such joy! I thoroughly enjoyed raising my four children. Experiencing the blessing of embracing a newer generation was not something I had anticipated … until now. I do believe the joy of being a grandparent is one of the best kept secrets.
The Nuclear Family
Why is grandparenting so much of a secret? In western cultures we often define “family” as “parent and child.” The extended family is rarely acknowledged. Many grandparents enter their role with minimal knowledge of this golden season of life. We sometimes fear we will be accused of meddling in the affairs of our families if we say too much. Numbers of grandmas and grandpas remain distant and removed. On the other hand, some grandparents take their role to the other extreme. They embrace their position to the fullest by lavishing their “grands” with excessive gifts and trips.
God’s Vision for Grandparents
Neither of these approaches seemed correct to me. I wondered what God’s vision for grandparents might be?
“tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power and the wonders he has done.” Psalm 78:1
I discovered, to my delight, that Scripture is clearer about the role of grandparents than I had imagined. In his doctrinal thesis, “The Biblical Role of Grandparenting”, Dr. Josh Mulvihill notes there are over 600 biblical references to multi-generational faithfulness. In Deuteronomy 4:9, for example, Moses tells the Israelites “to teach God’s laws to your children and to their children after them.” (emphasis mine) In Psalm 145:4 David says “One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.” In Psalm 78:1 we are told to “tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power and the wonders he has done.” Let there be no doubt God has a vision for GRANDparenting. While our culture screams at us to “retire,” the Lord envisions grandparents making a difference. But where do we start? How do we live into this “grand” calling from the Lord?
I share three first steps here… click and read on…
I cannot think of anything more awesome than the role of a grandparent. It was never meant to be a secret. Yes, there are joys. No doubt there will be challenges. But remember God has His divine vision for grandparents. So, welcome to the wonderful world of grandparenting! As you pray for your grandchildren, speak blessings over them, and pursue healthy relationships, know that you are stepping into God’s plan of reaching the next generations for Him. It is GRANDparents making a difference.