I love being a grandma to four little boys, ages 7, 2 1/2, 28 months, and two months. My own two children both were girls, so having grandsons required learning new things. Like, little boys are often loud, messy, and ACTIVE (as well as tenderhearted and sweet).
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling of a grandchild in my arms for the first time. Such a beautiful blessing from the Lord! Even before our first grandson was born, I knew I wanted to be an involved grandparent. It would take some thought and planning, since he and his parents would be living on another continent, but I would be connected to this child and be an influence in his life.
Grandchildren give us tremendous joy. We get to experience the world again as a new and fascinating place, full of surprises. We receive unconditional love (especially if we’re willing to bestow it first). In a mysterious way, some pieces of who we are will live on in our grandchildren after we are gone. But the most important part of being a grandparent isn’t about us–it’s about how we influence and bless them.
Here are three simple ways to do that.
1. Love and serve God. Know him through his Word. Seek his wisdom. Experience his power. Become someone your grandchildren will immediately think of when they think about what it means to know and love the Lord.
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5)
2. Love your grandchildren’s parents–your own children and their spouses. Pray for them, often and specifically. Encourage them with affirmation. And if these relationships are not what you desire, do everything you can do to repair and renew them. Be parents your children can be proud of.
“As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18).
“Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children” (Prov. 17:6)
3. Love your grandchildren. Children spell love T-I-M-E. Find ways to be there for them, even if you’re miles apart. Discover what’s important to them and make those things important to you. Enjoy them when you are together. Children who feel loved, respected, and accepted (while also knowing that the adults in their lives are in control) will be sure to listen when you have something important to say.
“O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.” (Psalm 71:17-18)