I did not grow up with grandparents.
We would receive Christmas gifts that would come unconnected to a voice or a face, a hug or a party.
The one time I met my only surviving grandparent was when my maternal “Opa” visited shortly before he died when I was about 18.
My Grandparents were sequestered to photos and stories. I believe I missed something of what they could have contributed, especially as my mother was widowed and left to raise six children without the support of extended family.
In those days I don’t recall grandparents living as long as they do now. My friends’ grandparents were somewhere between being disabled, demented, or diminishing fast.
So as I have become an “Opa”, I love the unique relationship I can have with my grandchildren – to enrich and edify, to hug and celebrate, to pray for and prepare them for life all from the “safe” distance of grandparenting.
I was intrigued about how “The Legacy Coalition” has thought about this generation of grandparents and grandchildren:
Grandparents are incredibly important to their grandkids.
Grandparents are uniquely positioned to spiritually influence their grandkids.
Grandparents have a Biblical mandate to do so.
Most Christians agree with these statements about grandparents, but so little is being done to challenge and equip this huge group — 7.1 million strong in Canada — of potential influencers.
Yes, the grandparenting relationship has incredible potential for discipleship, but it is unrecognized and under-resourced…. [and] grandparents themselves get caught up in a “retirement culture” that pushes them to pursue their own pleasure rather than invest in their grandchildren.
Grandparents have incredible potential to influence the next generation — and a Biblical mandate to do it.
A GREAT NEED
Grandparents themselves often lack vision, need support and community, or don’t know of tools which can help.
A NEW COURSE
We believe it is time to chart a new course — to engage this incredible potential by envisioning, encouraging, and equipping grandparents — through ministries in the local church.
For more see “What We’re Expecting” (7 Unbreakable Laws of Grandparents).
What memories do you have or your grandparents, and what insights do you have of grandparenting?