KNOWING GOD GENERATION TO GENERATION
An ancient songwriter once wrote these words for parents and grandparents: “Listen, […] bend your ears to what I tell you. […] I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths, Stories we heard from our fathers, counsel we learned at our mother’s knee. We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation— God’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done” (Psalm 78:1–4 MSG, emphasis added).
As grandparents, we tell God’s story to our children and their children. Since they love stories, here’s how we might tell our story: “Once upon a time in God’s good world, a young man and young woman met. They fell in love, married, and had two children. They sang God’s words over them in the womb. And in life they loved them with a relentless love, immersing them in the worship of God’s people and praying for their spouses yet unknown. Then one day, in God’s good world, they too met the ones for whom their parents had prayed. And like their parents, they pledged themselves to God and to one another. And, in God’s good time, they too welcomed their “littles” into God’s good world. And that’s how we became grandparents.”
Our story as grandparents is anchored in deeply held biblical commitments. We love the Scriptures, depend on the Spirit, and love the Church’s worship. Our children and “grands” speak of mornings they’ve found us reading or in prayer. On those mornings, they “see” more than we can ever teach.
We’re also transmitters of generational stories. We connect our grandchildren to the ongoing story of families loved by God. They ask wonderful questions, even holy questions like “Grandad, how do you hear God’s voice?” Or theological conundrums like “If Jesus is God and the son of God, is Jesus the Son of himself?” We now have a collection of them. Our grandchildren remember them fondly; we laugh often together.
Finally, we plan relational space to enjoy them and quietly influence their world. We serve their parents and enjoy them without feeling the need to be parents. We are present for birthdays and special events; we worship together; we read to them; we go to movies they love; we invest wisdom around campfires and on walks; we create nighttime stories and leave them wanting more; and we pray over them often. And we pray for every grandchild by name weekly, asking for wisdom, patience, and supernatural discernment for their parents.
Our intercession for our grandchildren is our present calling. And as we did for their parents, we pray for their hearts to be captured by the gospel and yes, we pray for their future spouses, wherever they might be in God’s good world. So, we grandparents are the “superheroes” without capes who unconditionally love their children, then their children’s children. And we do so until our grandchildren welcome their own “littles” through whom they too will “pass on” the wonder of God’s story in Christ.