Some of my friends were downright embarrassing.
With the arrival of the first grandchild, normal, rational, level-headed adults turned into absolute fools. They traded in their given names (many with postgraduate degree initials behind them) for monikers like GaGa and PopPop. I loved my daughters, and I assumed I’d also love my grandchildren, but I knew a seven-pound infant would never transform me into a besotted, Instagram-stalking grandma.
Author Lois Wyse once said, “If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first.”
Now that I have four grandchildren of my own, I get it. As I bask in the glory of grandparenting, I’ve discovered four ways grandchildren are a blessing.
- Grandchildren give us permission to be silly.
A cheerful heart is good medicine,” Proverbs 17:22 says, “but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” There’s nothing more fun than a silly grandchild. Laughter bursts out at the slightest provocation, and we’ll do anything to hear that musical jingle. From baby peek-a-boo to horsey rides to bedtime stories complete with a different voice for every character, the silliness keeps coming.
- Grandchildren provide an opportunity to share our faith.
Paul speaks of the sweetness of multi-generational faith when speaking of Timothy: “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 Timothy 1:5). There is no greater joy than to share our faith with our grands.
Time gives us a perspective we didn’t have twenty or thirty years ago. Maybe, out of fear, we pushed too hard. Or weren’t a good faith example. Grandchildren give us a do-over, a second chance to impact another generation for Christ. It is my deepest hope to have a part in seeing my grandchildren come to faith.
- Grandchildren give us a chance to invest in the future.
Proverbs 13:22 reminds us, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children.” I want to invest in my grandchildren’s education, their interests, and their spiritual growth. I don’t want to thoughtlessly fund just any activity, but I want to help pay for activities that will help them discover the gifts and talents God has given them.
I want to help send them to a Christian camp and on summer mission trips. I want to buy biographies of great men and women of God to show them who the real heroes and heroines are. I want to teach them to give and serve sacrificially as they watch my example.
- Grandchildren teach us about God.
If parenthood gave me the ability to glimpse the Father heart of God, grandparenthood has displayed it on the big screen. I realize the love I have for my grands reflects God’s love for me.
To be able to answer my grandchildren’s questions, I must be full of wisdom, which comes from digging into God’s Word and praying often. I claim James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
And when my little ones sin against me or each other, my heart breaks, just as God’s does when I sin against him. This regular reminder of how often I fail him and how freely he forgives me keeps me humble. My hope is that my grandchildren and I will continue to learn about God together.
On the eve of our first granddaughter’s arrival, our family held a meeting to decide my grandma name. “My only request is that you pick something she won’t be embarrassed to call me when she’s fifteen,” I said. We tossed around a few suggestions and settled on the name I’ve come to treasure: Gigi. Now I wear it proudly as I scroll through my Instagram feed for pictures to show my friends.
I’m confident you can add a few blessings of your own. Leave a comment below, and join the conversation. And if you’re brave enough, leave your grandparent name. But please, no pictures.