A farmer trudges through the field with his muck boots squishing through puddles left by an early spring rain. He grips a hoe in one hand; a pouch heavy with seeds is slung over his shoulder. Every movement he makes is intentional. He stoops to dig four troughs, two or three inches deep, and sprinkles seeds into each. His hands tenderly brush dirt over the seeds and he waters them with care. Then, the farmer kneels to pray for the harvest.
His neighbor, a so-called farmer, also trudges through his field with his boots squishing through puddles left by the same spring rain. He doesn’t carry a seed pouch or a hoe. He doesn’t dig troughs, sprinkle seeds or pray. Instead, he meanders among the field, wishing for better results than he had last year.
Two weeks pass. The first farmer kneels in his field beside tiny shoots peeking through the soil and gives thanks to God for the new growth. He carefully tends his crop by keeping the ground watered, removing unwanted weeds, and restoring nutrients to the soil.
Meanwhile, the second farmer continues to meander among his field, wishing for better results than he had last year.
As Christian grandparents, we are farmers who hope to reap a harvest of faith in our grandchildren.
Sadly, we live in a society that is ambiguous about the role of grandparents. Many of us have adopted the second farmer’s method of farming by sitting on the sidelines, hoping our grandchildren will magically absorb the Gospel message and give their lives to Christ. Others of us have adopted the steps used by the first farmer in this story.
- We prepare the soil of our grandchildren’s hearts by building a relationship with them. This can be accomplished by:
– Spending time with our grandchildren. (We can use Zoom or Facetime to reach across the miles to our grandchildren who do not live near us.)
– Expressing an interest in their schoolwork, hobbies, and other activities.
– Sending them text messages or notes in the mail.
- We plant the seed, sharing the Gospel message with them. This can be accomplished by:
– Purchasing a Bible for them.
– Reading and discussing God’s Word with them.
– Modeling confession and forgiveness.
– Talking with them about our need for a Savior.
- We cover the seed with soil by sharing our testimony with our grandchildren. Our testimony includes:
– How we came to know Jesus as our personal Savior.
– Other faith stories.
– Examples of answered prayer.
– The lessons we’ve learned.
- We water the soil by speaking blessings into our grandchildren’s lives. A blessing includes the fact that our grandchildren are precious in the sight of God. He created them and gave them special attributes, so they can fulfill His unique plan for their life. A blessing also includes our commitment to actively walk alongside them as their encouragers.
- We weed the area and restore the nutrients by removing the world’s lies and teaching them a biblical worldview. We start by providing our grandchildren with a safe place to tackle difficult questions.
- We harvest the fruit when we celebrate our grandchildren’s salvation and their walk with Christ.
Like farming, planting, and growing seeds of faith in our grandchildren’s hearts can be difficult. Some of us are separated from our grandchildren by physical miles. Others are separated by the emotional distance created as a result of divorce, broken relationships, misplaced priorities, unwarranted suspicions, time constraints, or unforgiveness within our family. Like the first farmer in the story, we need to commit our efforts to the Lord in prayer.
God is calling us to sow seeds of faith in the hearts of our grandchildren. His Word says,
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently,
lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen,
and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.
Make them known to your children
and your children’s children.”
Will you join me in making the commitment to be a godly, intentional grandparent? Will you grab a hoe and your seed pouch of faith and walk among the fields, intentionally sowing the love of Christ into the hearts of your future generations?