Grandchildren are your reward for not killing your kids when they were teenagers.
Those are fun quotes. But the truth is, I love being a grandparent. Not everyone receives the blessing of being a grandparent. But we all are grandchildren. It is a unique relationship.
I knew and had a wonderful relationship with all four of my grandparents. But my wife, Judy, only knew one grandmother (the other three had died before she knew them).
It’s a tough time and culture for children and a tough one for grandparents as well. Sometimes the distance, age difference, and finances cause a strain on the relationship. Is there any help for grandparents.
In a recent sermon I shared some principles of grand parenting from the end of the life of Jacob. Jacob was a grandparent to Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph’s two sons. You can read in Genesis 48 about the story when he met them and blessed them. He said some things, did some things for them, and gave them some things that every grandparent can apply to their family.
Four things Jacob said to his grandchildren.
- His Testimony (v. 3, 15-16). What you were like before salvation. What you did to receive Christ. How you were changed.
- The Word of God (v. 15-17). He told them God’s name, God’s words and God’s expectations.
- The Promise of God (v. 4). Jacob told them the four-fold promise of God (v.4) – wealth, influence, nation, land.
- Their Grandmother (v. 7). These boys never met their grandmother. she died before they met. But Jacob talked about her.
Four things Jacob did for his grandchildren.
- Jacob adopted them (v. 5). The boys were half Hebrew and half Egyptian. But he adopted them as his sons.
- Jacob kissed and hugged them (v. 10). Jacob showed his affection.
- Jacob laid his hands on them (v.14). This was more than a casual touch. He purposely laid his hands on each to predict their future.
- Jacob blessed his grandchildren (Heb. 11:21).
Four things Jacob gave his grandchildren.
- Jacob gave them his name. He adopted the two boys (v. 5, 16).
- Jacob gave God’s future to them (v. 16, 20). He predicted their destiny.
- Jacob gave them his love. He expressed his love for his grandchildren.
- Jacob gave them an example of worship (v. 12; Hebrews 11:21). They watched their grandfather worship God.
Four lessons for grandparents today.
- Grandparents should be concerned about the spiritual condition of their grandchildren. The spiritual condition of children is more important than their education, athletic ability, or social connections. Grandparents have a great opportunity to help guide their grandchildren to get closer to Jesus.
- Grandparents should be a spiritual example. Long after you have ended this life your grandchildren will remember how you lived. Make sure your legacy is a godly legacy. Make the changes in your life that would reflect how you want your grandchildren to follow your example.
- Grandparents should give their testimony. Share with your grandchildren what God has done in your life. What were you like before Jesus changed your life? How has God answered prayer in your life? Your grandchildren need to hear these stories.
- Grandparents should bless their grandchildren Take some time and bless your children. How can you bless children? Share a meaningful touch. Speak a word of blessing over them. Place high value on their life. Anticipate what God can do with their life and share that with them. Make an active commitment to them to be help them receive the blessing of God.