It’s true that few things are grander than being a grandparent. It’s also true that at times few things can be more challenging than being a grandparent (unless you’re this guy in the kayak!). Too often, it is anything but what we expect it to be. If you’re a grandparent who is parenting your grandchildren, you know that better than any of us.
I became a grandfather for the first time on June 1, 1997. It was a day I will never forget. As I held my first grandchild, a flood of emotions spilled over me. The first was the joy of holding my grandson—a second generation now living with the Harper DNA. There was also the shocking realization that I had now become a full-fledged member of an elite class, albeit a class marked by gray hair and a label I had, until now, only applied to ‘old’ people. I remember thinking, “Is it really possible I am a grandfather?”
As powerful as these emotions were, one emotion erupted within me unexpectedly. It was the sudden awareness of the kind of world my generation was leaving for our grandchildren to navigate. The epitaph of Judges 2:10 gripped my heart and I wondered if history was about to be repeated in my time. It reads, “Another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel.” I resolved to do whatever God gave me to do to not let that happen on my watch. Little did I understand at that time the challenges that lay ahead.
A Toolbox Resource
Renee Gray-Wilburn and Dianne Butts understand that grandparenting in today’s world is very different from what it was only one generation earlier. Numerous obstacles from raising grandchildren to long distance grandparenting are more critical than at any other time in our nation’s history. But more than that, grandparents today must deal with the effects upon our families caused by widespread divorce, strained family relationships, increased godlessness and a culture hostile to absolute truth. How do we face these challenges without going crazy? How do we help guide our grandchildren towards an authentic, wholehearted faith in Jesus Christ?
Renee and Dianne’s book, Grandparenting Through Obstacles, offers some practical help for answering these questions. They assembled a collage of life stories from people like you who are facing a variety of life issues. These stories will encourage you, stir you, and inspire you in your own journey. They will also be great additions to your grandparenting toolbox as a tool that can make a difference in how you share Christ with them.
I encourage you to add this inspirational tool to your personal toolbox. I pray these real-life stories will give you hope and the resolve to remain steadfast in this grand calling of grandparenting. Perhaps your story needs to be heard as well. I would invite you to share your own story with us so that others may profit from your experience and wisdom.
Send me your story at firstname.lastname@example.org
GRANDPAUSE: I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)