Discovering God's Calling in Grandparenting
O God, you have helped us know you through story and ritual. Help us to remember your words and actions so we can share them with our grandchildren and others in our lives. Amen
Take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children (Deuteronomy 4:9).
At certain times in your life you may have carried the assumption that God calls you once, for just one purpose. Don’t miss the call, or you might spend the remainder of your days in meaningless mediocrity. In reality, it is safe to say that God calls us many times throughout the seasons of our lives, and each call challenges us to stretch further than we might have anticipated or imagined.
Responding to the call of grandparenting is likely not your first response to God’s call, yet it is no less important, both for you and your grandchild. You had little or no choice about becoming a grandparent, but now that the role has been thrust upon you, how will you respond? Hopefully, it will bring you great joy that you can turn around and share with your grandchild. But as you reflect on this new role and new title, it’s quite logical to seek deeper meaning from it. It’s also normal to have some questions.
Congratulations! You are called to be a grandparent. You likely have a bit of anxiety, and a whole lot of wonderment for how this is going to go. One thing is certain. As you respond to this call, you will discover an aspect of God that you have not seen or experienced before. Place your trust in God, say ‘yes’ to the call as best you can, and give it your all.
This call likely means a change in your life. In his book, Managing Transitions, William Bridges writes that transitions always start with an ending. Seems odd, yes, but he maintains that the first step toward a life change is identifying what you are losing and learning how to manage the losses.
Take a moment to read the article “What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Grandparent” by Nancy and Tom Biracree (https://bestlifeonline.com/grandparent-advice/). A few points that the authors make:
Write and/or Discuss
As you embrace this role, and respond to the call of grandparenting . . .
Take a few moments to reflect on these questions. Jot down your responses, or discuss them with your group.
You may have a wide range of emotions and feelings about becoming a grandparent. Here a few examples:
What would you add to the list? What are your strong feelings and emotions?
All is normal. It’s part of the change process. Acknowledge them, and recognize that God is present in them. And pray for trust that God will mold you into the authentic grandparent that your grandchild needs and deserves.
Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90.12).
They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green (Psalm 92.14).
The steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children (Psalm 103:17).
What's Emerging in My Life?
Let’s consider what might be emerging in your life as a result of these changes. As we do so, let us remember a few things that others have discovered about God’s callings in their lives. We can say that responding to God’s call will
likely . . .
Let’s focus on the third bullet point: benefit others besides yourself. Grandparenting is a call to a role of love, encouragement, wisdom-sharing. And for some, it’s also a call to primary care and ultimate responsibility. You can learn to improve what you do naturally—love your grandchild. Responding to this call may be difficult: they are busy, you are busy, technology invades, family may be disjointed, etc. Amidst the challenge of frenetic chaos, time together is what counts. With grandchildren, you can take time to be tender. It’s a promise all grandparents can make: never a goodbye without a word of love.
Write and/or Discuss
The call of grandparenting beckons you beyond yourself.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? . . . Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28, 30-31)
How Should I Live?
Now we seek to turn the corner and fully embrace the call as grandparent. We seek to develop fruitful patterns of behavior that bring fulfillment and grace to grandparent and grandchild.
Watch the video Grandparents Are Important. Two young grandchildren share what they love about Oma and Opa.
Write and/or Discuss
Here are links to helpful practices and strategies for responding to the call of grandparent.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. (Psalm 145:3-4)
Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. (Proverbs 17:6.