When I became a grandparent in 2010, I wondered how my grandson would remember me in years to come. Sure, I understood the day-by-day experience thing. I wanted to get to know this new little person and share my faith in Christ with him. And, I wanted my message to have an impact on his life choices as an adult.
Taking it one step further, we’re not genetically related. I’m a step-grandparent. My concerns about my place in his life were quickly doused when the mother of a large family told me, “It doesn’t matter how you got there. You’re a grandparent.” Bottom line: you can be a grandparent in the traditional “genetic” sense, through adoption, or like me, as part of a marriage package deal. For that matter, it really doesn’t matter if you are a grandparent at all. You can still be an important part of a child’s life.
Check out the story of Ruth in the Bible. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, had a husband and two sons who died while they were living in a foreign land, and they had no heirs. Naomi ended up returning to her homeland with Ruth, her daughter-in-law who eventually married one of their close relatives. When Ruth had her first child, Naomi got to be a grandma. She took her God-given role to heart by intentionally loving and teaching her grandson about the one true God. And, Naomi became the great-great-grandmother of King David.
“Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” – Ruth 4:16-17
Here’s a little test. Put your index and middle fingers on the side of your neck and check your pulse. Did you find it? Good, that means you have work to do. We’re all in the same boat when it comes to “what” we need to be doing. Unfortunately, there are no compelling examples in pop culture of how to be an intentional Christian grandparent.
Naomi got it. She understood there are eternal questions that every generation needs to address. That fact has not changed throughout human history. Buckle up. It’s time to get in the driver’s seat of writing a Spiritual Legacy Memoir.
“I will utter hidden things, things from of old—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. …which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” Psalm 78:2-6