Fundamentals For The Family - Grandparents
Written By: Jim Swanson | Posted: Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Though you may not be a grandparent yet, given enough time, you all will be. Moreover, most of your children have grandparents now who influence them one way or another.
Too often grandparents say, "It's our kids' job to train their children; it's our job to spoil them." From this view came the saying, "God has no grandchildren." Though this is true, it implies grandparents have no responsibility toward their children's children. God says otherwise.
What does the Bible say about the influence of grandparents? Adam had an influence on generations until Noah. Though Jacob and Esau were only 15 when Abraham died, Isaac spent his latter years with Jacob's family long after Joseph was sold into slavery. We are told, "And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph's knees." (Genesis 50:23)
In the New Testament we are given the example of Timothy. Paul said, "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." (2 Timothy 1:5) Though we wonder how Eunice married a Gentile unbeliever, we see here that a mother and grandmother laid the foundation in Timothy's life that led to his greatness. (Phil. 2:20, 22)
What does the Bible say about the responsibility of grandparents? The phrase "children's children" appears 10 times in Scripture. It speaks of both passing on blessing and cursing. Why is it true that "Children's children are the crown of old men"? (Prov 17:6) It is because they reward a faithful father as he sees his instruction passed on to another generation. In Proverbs 13:22 we are told, "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children." The greatest inheritance we can leave are the true riches of example, testimony, and instruction.
God wants us to think beyond our generation or even that of our children. When Hezekiah learned that his own failure would lead to defeat and disgrace for his grandchildren, his selfish reply was, "Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days." (Is. 39:8) In contrast, we are to so live that we may pass on God's blessing beyond our own children. "But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children." Ps 103:17
Finally, give time for your parents to be with their grandchildren. You may not agree with everything they say or do, but you are demonstrating honor to your parents and letting them enjoy their 'crown.' Since "the glory of children are their fathers, " don't worry about them 'unteaching' your values. Remember, how you treat your parents will model how they may well treat you someday.