By Lillian Penner
Grandparenting looks different for many people. Some take their grandchildren to museums, go on trips, volunteer, do crafts, and partake in other activities together. Today, grandchildren may live with or near their grandparents, or they may live many miles away, even across the ocean.
Our adult children may be spiritually rebellious or neglectful of their spiritual lives, failing to make time to read God’s Word, pray, or regularly fellowship with other believers a part of their routine. However, even if those parents have a healthy, established Christian home, busy schedules, jobs, parenting, and all the distractions of today’s world conspire to distract and destroy the family.
Many grandparents have broken hearts because their precious grandchildren are not learning about Jesus’s love; some are estranged from their grandchildren. Long-distance grandparents find it difficult to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives. Today we have many more resources at our disposal to connect with them than we did years ago, such as: Facetime, Skype, cell phones, texts, emails, and videos.
This past weekend I attended a women’s conference where the keynote speaker talked on the subject of Courage. She spoke from the first chapter of Joshua about courage to be a woman of God in the world we live in today. Joshua was afraid when the Lord told him that Moses was dead and he would lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. However, the Lord said, “Be strong and courageous, be careful to obey my law, do not turn from the right or left of it, meditate on it day and night. Then you will be successful. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Grandparents are often overwhelmed and discouraged about how to grandparent in today’s ungodly culture. Just as Joshua was afraid when the Lord gave him the assignment to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. Many grandparents are struggling with how to reach out to their grandchildren in our technological age. I believe the words “Be courageous” from God to Joshua apply to grandparents today who struggle with their role in this broken world.
I find a requirement in those verses for me to spend time in God’s Word, be careful to obey God’s Word, hold fast to the Truth, and meditate on it. If I am consistently spending time with the Lord, I will trust Him with the heavy burdens on my heart. I will ask the Holy Spirit to make intercessions when I don’t know how to pray for the grandchild who is breaking my heart. God’s Word gives me courage, which comes from knowing God and trusting Him to work in the hearts of my grandchildren. I pray intentionally for my grandchildren to experience the reality of a relationship with Jesus and live the adventure of walking with Him.
I had to ask myself the following questions after hearing this message from Joshua. I hope you will also ask yourself these questions.
• Am I a courageous woman or man of God?
• Am I a courageous, godly grandparent?”
• Do I nourish my spiritual life with God’s Word consistently so I can provide for my grandchildren spiritually?
• Do I pray intentionally for the spiritual well-being of my grandchildren?
• Do my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren see from my life what it looks like to walk with Jesus?
Courageous, godly grandparents will invest in their own spiritual life to be able to lead their grandchildren into a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.