Grandparenting (2)

God has no grandchildren.9570812857?profile=original

Reading through the Old Testament book of Judges recently, a sentence jumped off the page and jabbed at my heart: After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works He had done for Israel (Judges 2:10 HCSB).


Really?! How could this happen to people whose parents and grandparents had “worshiped the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and during the lifetimes of the elders who outlived Joshua,” and who had seen all that the Lord had done for them (Judges 2:7)? And what were the consequences?


The answer to that last question comes clearly and dearly in the next four paragraphs of Judges 2: They abandoned the Lord. They embraced idols. Their loving but justifiably angry God disciplined them through defeat by neighboring nations. Their hearts turned toward Him only when they were under duress. Whenever He intervened and relieved their stress, their hearts returned to their rebellious ways.


The answer to the first question, apparently, is that very little intergenerational disciple-making happened within those families — or it was very poorly done.


I thought about our grandchildren. Will they grow up not knowing the Lord or the works He has done for us, his chosen people (1 Peter 2:9)?


Not on our watch,” my wife and I declared. Although their parents are a primary influence on our grandchildren, we as grandparents are a strong secondary influence on them in such matters.


This blog series outlines key steps that we, and other kindred spirits, are taking to become even more intentional about our spiritual legacy — our impact — as grandparents. We’ll focus on clear understandings, firm convictions, strategic tools in our grandparenting treasure chest, and fruitful outcomes. Let’s begin . . .


Our commitment to intentional grandparenting is founded on certain rock-solid realities. Our convictions drive our values, and our values drive our attitudes and behaviors. That so, here is one basic conviction (of several) that wise grandparents embrace:

It’s true: God has no grandchildren.


In Judges and throughout the Bible, we see that a person’s relationship with God is not “grandfathered” through someone else’s relationship. We may have a relationship with God that is similar to that of an ancestor or mentor—but our relationship with Him comes directly and only through God the Son.


“So what?” you may ask. One implication of this for grandparents is that we need to recognize that relationship as spiritual priority #1 for each grandchild. We need to pray for their saving and growing relationship with God. Then we need to enable or support it appropriately.


Questions for discussion or journaling:

  1. In my situation, what are one or two appropriate ways to enable or support their relationship with God?
  2. In my situation, what are one or two inappropriate or risky ways to enable or support their relationship with God?


O Father in heaven, please bring each of my grandchildren into a saving and growing relationship with You. Help me to enable that and to encourage them in appropriate ways that You ordain. In Jesus’s name and for Your glory in and through them, amen.


© 2019 John Garmo

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An alarming report recently grabbed my attention:9570812857?profile=original

A seven-year study of the causes of death among teens in America observed that the top three causes of death were accidents, homicide, and suicide.* Almost half­ of those tragedies—about 68,000 deaths—were accidents, and most of those accidents—about 46,000—were by motor vehicle.

  Sit back for a moment and reflect with me. What led to those 131,000 deaths? Bad choices. The general principle: Bad choices take away life; wise choices add life.

  Those dramatic statistics help me focus on a vital priority in my “intentional grandparenting”: I need to help my grandchildren become wiser and wiser. They need to show in their attitudes and behavior that (1) they understand the consequences of their choices and (2) have the wisdom to choose well.

  My lead-off blog in this series about “intentional grandparenting” focused on the alarming message of Judges 2:10. It challenged us to engage intentionally in the ministry of “intergenerational discipling” by praying for—and influencing—each of our own grandchildren to begin their individual, redemptive relationship with God.

  Once they begin that relationship with Him, they need to nourish it by cultivating wisdom. God’s Word says much about living and choosing wisely. It is a lifelong commitment that builds on “fearing” the Lord (Proverbs 1:7) as a way of life.

  The Hebrew word in the Old Testament that is translated “wise” is used in various contexts. In the context of life in general, this word describes a person who is skillful and practical at living in harmony with God’s expectations. We find this word most often in the “wisdom literature”: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.

  How does wisdom show in our grandkids? Proverbs 3, 4, and 5 show us that the proof of our grandchildren’s developing wisdom is their increasing knowledge, understanding, and ability to make the right choices at the right time and in the right way. Are they understanding and choosing wisely in a few situations, or in many situations? Their consistency in this is a measure of their developing maturity.

  What difference does wise living make? Its impact is significant:

  • A lifestyle of walking wisely is our highest offering of worship to God (Ephesians 4:1; 5:1-2; James 3:13, 17).
  • Walking wisely brings personal peace in relationships and situations, rather than anxiety and chaos (Proverbs 1:32-33; James 3:14-18).
  • Our wisdom is a witness to those living in darkness who watch us (Deuteronomy 4:6).
  • Walking wisely helps our children and grandchildren set an influential example as they teach their future children and grandchildren the wisdom of loving and walking in harmony with God (Deuteronomy 4:9).

  Loving Father in heaven, please help    (name of each grandchild)    to take another step forward in Your wisdom this month. Please open my eyes to a way that I can be an example for them and an encouragement to them along their journey into the wisdom of honoring You by choosing well. For Your glory and in Jesus’ name, amen.


© 2019 John Garmo


* NCHS data brief, no. 37. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2010.

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