The impact of grandparents

Farmville Enterprise July 26, 2017

 

Not many things bring a smile to one’s face faster than watching a toddler or preschooler jump eagerly from the side of a pool into the waiting arms of an adult. It is especially heartwarming when the arms are of those of a joyful grandparent. If you end up at the beach or a community pool this summer you might get to witness several generations of family members enjoying a bit of time off together. Not every one of us will get to become grandparents, but we all had or have them. Some grandparents were or are particularly encouraging to and supportive of their children’s children. Many of you tell stories of how you could do no wrong in the eyes of a particular grandparent. A letter from you during college or while you were in the military or out of town made your grandmother or grandfather more pleased than any kind of gift ever could have done. Many grandparents intentionally create(d) memorable, positive holiday traditions, summer vacations and one-on-one time with grandchildren.

Not so infrequently on inspirational documentaries about famous athletes we hear about the parent(s) of a parent who stepped in to provide unforgettable support to help that star accomplish what was accomplished. Many of these stories include the essential element of the grandparent’s faith.

Not every family structures is biological, but they all play in important role in a child’s development. We observe around us how family units give people a sense of love, belonging and confidence. In our older years, if we are fortunate enough to be grandparents or grandparent figures to children or youth, we should remember how our example can make a tremendous difference in their understanding of God’s love and grace. If we speak of the life and ministry of Jesus and live out his teachings there is no telling what lasting effects these actions will have.

“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” (Proverbs 17:6)

“But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” (Psalm 103:17-18)

“Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you.” “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”  (Deuteronomy 4:1;9)

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