GRANDPAUSE: In prayer there is no distance.
Grandparenting from a distance does have its challenges. We miss out on so much of the special moments happening in our grandchildren’s lives because they are so far away. And want can adequately replace a real hug or holding a child’s hand as you walk together through the park?
Long distance grandparenting is not ideal, but neither is it the end of the world—though it can feel like the other end of the world. As we talked about this in my last post, the issue is what we do to intentionally make the best of the situation we have.
We’re looking at five ways to intentionally grandparent from a distance. Last time we addressed the first two: 1. Ways to use technology, and 2. Using snail mail effectively. Staying connected through technology and the Postal Service is good. Both can create personal touches from a distance that bear much fruit. The next three things take intentionality to another level.
#3: Planned visits: While it may be physically impossible for some to make any visit to your grandchildren, for many it is simply a problem of intentionality. We don’t sit down with our calendars and plan visits we can make to them, or visits we can plan from them. Yes, it may not be easy, but if you want to enjoy the personal contacts we all want, you need to plan for those times. Get out your calendar right now, and figure out what works best for you, your grandchildren and their parents.
#4: Honor their parents with your words and actions. Whether you are sending cards, letters, texts, or chatting online, let your conversations always speak of your grandchildren’s parents with respect. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths…” That applies to how you talk about their parents. Make it your goal to do everything you can to encourage your grandchildren to honor their parents by setting the example yourself.
#5: Pray: Prayer knows no distance. Its impact is just as effective 10,000 miles away as it is face-to-face. Prayer is not a last resort after we have tried everything else. It ought to be our first response practice.
Pray for them, pray with them, and teach them to pray. James reminds us that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
Not sure what to pray? CLICK HERE to download one of our Scriptures to Pray cards to keep in your Bible. You’ll find one scripture for each day of the month to pray for your grandchildren.
Let them know you are praying for them. I have assigned a specific day of the week for each of my grandchildren to pray especially for them, and to let them know I’m doing that.
When you talk on the phone or Skype, pray with them and encourage them to also pray. Invite them to pray for you about decisions you must make, challenges you are facing, and struggles you have in life. This teaches them that prayer is not a one-way street—something grandparents do for their grandchildren. We pray with each other and for each other, young and old.
CLICK HERE for more information about the prayer ministry at CGN.