You’ve Been Promoted!
Steve Stroope, The Center for Strong Families
Grandfathers hold a unique and exalted position when it comes to the process of spiritual formation in the next generation. Other than mom and dad no one else carries the stature or inherent authority in the lives of children. In fact, not even mom or dad can fill the role we fill. That’s why I find it troubling that so many modern grandfathers squander their opportunity thinking “I’ve finished the parenting task.”
We are not called “grandparents” because we’ve been retired from the parenting process. We are called “grand” because we’ve been promoted! That means your task is to do everything possible to help your family achieve success in their most important assignment. Regardless of what business you may be in, your “family business” includes a clear purpose. Specifically, those blessed with the gift of grandchildren are called to inspire and nurture the faith of the next generation as life’s greatest privilege and priority.
The scriptures command moms, dads and grandparents to give the next generation a framework for living rooted in the knowledge of and relationship with God. It is our job to support and reinforce the role of parents as they fulfill the command of Deuteronomy 6:6–8:
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up…
Prior generations of grandparents understood this mandate to target them as the patriarchs of faith in their extended families. We need to recapture that understanding today if we are going to fulfill our God-ordained role in the faith formation process.
How do you start? Put in place regular scheduled times when you get to invest in your grandchildren such as:
- Put a weekly “touching base” call or text message reminder on your planner to prompt “spontaneous” encouragement or conversation
- Plan once-a-month, twice-a-month, or once-a-week sleepovers
- Host a once-a-year entire week or more with grandchildren
- Establish birthday traditions (like breakfasts with them)
- Help grandchildren pick out and purchase Christmas gifts for their parents
- Observe annual celebration of their salvation
- Establish Easter traditions
The key is creating recurring, meaningful experiences that, once they have been instituted, take place automatically. Leverage the tools and resources we’ve suggested to make influencing the faith of the next generation easy.
- Extreme Grandparenting by Tim Kimmel and Darcy Kimmel
- It Starts At Home by Kurt Bruner and Steve Stroope
Prestonwood has a variety of Bible Fellowships for the spiritual development of every person. No matter your age and stage of life, there’s a Bible Fellowship for you. Visit prestonwood.org/connect for more information. The Prestonwood Library, located on the second floor of the Plano Campus, provides additional resources and services to help Christians grow in faith and ministry.
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