Grandfathering is a lot like fathering sons and daughters. There is vital messaging that we pass along to our children and their children that honors God and promotes healthy relationships.
Faithfully fathering sons means teaching boys what it means to be a real Christian man. That takes consistency, planning and more. My dad taught me about things like car maintenance, but he didn’t share about his relationship with Jesus, or what he knew about God and the importance of eternal matters like knowing the Bible. We can learn from this. As grandfathers we can support the efforts of our sons to help grandsons understand what it means to be a real Christian man. We can model it, and weave our faith into the conversations we have with our grandchildren.
My twelve-year-old grandson came into the house the other day talking about hot sauces. Hot sauce is something he could not stand when he was younger. Even the tiniest drop sent him running for water, milk, anything to stop the burning. Now he says he puts sriracha sauce on his sandwich and it doesn’t even burn. Telling me that was not about his hot sauce tolerance level. I knew what he was actually telling me was that he has grown up and can eat hot sauce like an adult man. This is one of the many steps young guys go through to prove they are men. Later it will be fast cars, motorcycles, and being the star of the high school football team.
In a similar manner, we play a part in teaching our sons and grandsons how God intends for them to relate to girls and women. Our job is to show them what a real Christian man looks like and to live it out. Talk to them about Jesus and Father God, and show them how to be the spiritual leader of the household. Be sure to give your granddaughters special times with you on granddaddy dates and show them how they should expect to be treated by men. Remember, the boys she dates may not have had good training.
Guidelines for Grandfathers
- Consistency– I know you’re tired and you had a hard day. Take a deep breath and be consistent. Remember to rely on God’s strength and not your own. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
- Accountability– Be part of a Bible study group of men, such as BSF, and don’t isolate yourself. You need Christian guy friends to do life with. We are warned: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
- Sacrifice– It’s going to take sacrifice to be a good grandfather, but it is well worth it.
- Perseverance– It isn’t always going to be easy. OK, it’s never going to be easy. Persevere to the end, just like God preserves with you.
- Vision Casting- Cast a vision for them for their future. What would they like to do for a career? Where do they want to live? How would they like to serve in some type of ministry? Part of that casting a vision is planning for marriage. Nurture their athletic side as well as their artistic side by your interest in their activities.
Grandfathering is a privilege and a responsibility, but it’s also a lot of fun. Enjoy the journey. Grandchildren grow up so fast.
Lewis, Robert. Raising a Modern Day Night- A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood, Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2007
Payleitner, Jay. 52 Things Kids Need from a Dad: What Fathers Can Do to Make a Lifelong Difference, Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2010
The Fatherhood CoMission- The Fatherhood CoMission is a collaboration of over 200 different ministries and organizations coming together for one purpose! Each year we reach millions of Dads and children because we collaborate and combine our media channels.- https://www.fatherhoodcomission.com/
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®).