A Word to Grandparents

Posted on March 12, 2009 · Posted in Grandparents

If you are a grandparent and have been following this series
of posts, perhaps you have wondered if we were ever going to talk to you
rather than about you. Well, your time has come. Psalm 78 addresses grandparents
directly. In is a powerful and dynamic passage, the first seven verses of the psalm
envision passing the Word of God from generation to generation. The psalm
speaks to parents when their children are young. It speaks to parents when
their children grow up, and it speaks to parents when their children have
children. This section culminates in verse 7 with both a plea and a
proclamation that grandchildren should trust in God and not forget his deeds
and commands.

 1 O my
people, hear my teaching;
       listen to the words of my mouth.

 2 I will open my mouth in parables,
       I will utter hidden things, things from of
old-

 3 what we have heard and known,
       what our fathers have told us.

 4 We will not hide them from their
children;
       we will tell the next generation
       the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
       his power, and the wonders he has done.

 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
       and established the law in Israel,
       which he commanded our forefathers
       to teach their children,

 6 so the next generation would know them,
       even the children yet to be born,
       and they in turn would tell their
children.

 7 Then they would put their trust in God
       and would not forget his deeds
       but would keep his commands.

The psalm alludes to the fact that the first generation of
grandparents to enter the Promised Land failed miserably. They did not help
their children remember even the most basic things about God. So Judges begins
with the startling and tragic affirmation that there "arose in Israel a
nation which knew not the Lord nor what he had done for Israel" (Judges
2:10).

Grandparents, this is your calling from God—that your
grandkids would not forget about God and his deeds. How do you fulfill this
calling? First, you must own this mission for yourselves. You yourself must not
forget about the wonderful works of God. They must dominate your thinking. Why
is this important? Because as a grandparent you have been an expert in making
observations, particularly observations about your children and grandchildren.
You see problems and issues that are not being addressed in the lives of your
children’s families. But if you have read the previous posts, you have learned
it is not your responsibility to fix these issues directly. That responsibility
belongs to your children. So, you might ask, how can you be calling your grandchildren
to God if that is the responsibility of the parents? The answer lies in your
commitment to love God first and foremost. You must be taken captive by God
yourself, believing in him and growing in grace and wisdom. You must be characterized
by sensitivity and mercy. These qualities  will cause you to be accessible to your
children. You cannot and should not begin the parenting process all over again,
but what you can do is be a model of support and strength for your children.
Your goal is to serve them and live before them in such a way that they will
come and ask you for help. In this way you can make the gospel attractive. You
have a wonderful and high calling before God. Take a moment to read the posts
directed to your children. Ask God to help you be an instrument of bringing his
grace to your children and your children’s children.

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