BEING A GRANDPARENT is an amazing opportunity to pass on your love and spiritual heritage to the next generation, just as Lois in the Bible shared her faith with her daughter,
Eunice, and grandson, Timothy. Today many grandparents also become step-grandparents when children remarry, or even surrogate parents when their grandchildren need another family for a while.
Whatever your family situation, you can have a significant role in your grandchildren’s spiritual development. You can pray, share your faith stories, open their eyes to God’s
love, help them to discover the wonder in God’s creation, and nurture their character strengths.
Even if you don’t have grandchildren, you can be an “adoptive” grandparent for a family that doesn’t have nearby grandparents, for a single-parent family, or for an immigrant family. You can make a big difference by being a stable influence in the life of a child and by supporting their parents.
• Stay warmly connected to your grandchildren whenever possible. You’re a secure base when they face challenges during their teen years, or if their relationship with their parents becomes shaky for a while.
• Find out what makes your grandchildren feel especially loved, then do those things as often as you can.
• Look for creative ways to love and bless your grandchildren through appreciation, affirmation, support, and encouragement.
• Be good listeners when they chatter away. Take notes about their friends, their strengths, their interests, their struggles, and their dreams.
• Prayer is an amazing gift that you can give your grandchildren every day.
• Pray that they will know Jesus, follow Him, and make good life choices.
• Pray that their parents will parent with wisdom and love and grow closer to God through the experience of parenting. If your own children are currently taking a break from church, the Holy Spirit can use your grandchildren to touch their hearts again.
• Write and illustrate prayers for your grandchildren and mail your prayers to them.
• Say a short blessing over them when you put them to bed or when saying goodbye on the phone.
• Tell your grandchildren about your own spiritual journey, the difference your faith makes in your life, and how God has answered your prayers.
• Make worship kits for your grandchildren because ready-made worship kits are a blessing when you’re busy. Visit The Journal website and search for the children’s pages in the archives. Look for any ideas that your grandchild might enjoy, write out the instructions for the worship activity, gather together all the supplies needed, and put everything in a resealable bag.
• Make story bags. These are cloth drawstring bags containing a Bible storybook and all the materials needed to tell the story. For example: the Lost Sheep story bag could be in a green cotton bag (which doubles as a field). The bag could contain a piece of tan fabric (such as burlap) to represent a desert, gray foam shapes to represent rocks, several sheep, and a shepherd. Wooden popsicle sticks can be used to create a sheepfold or the shepherd’s house.
• Come up with challenges that help children use their hobbies and interests to explore Bible topics.
• Help them memorize Bible verses by turning it into a fun game. Write each word of a verse on separate cards and ask them to arrange the cards in the right order.
• Write a Bible verse on an appropriate picture, cut the picture into pieces, and mail them all the pieces to arrange correctly.
• When you tell your grandchild a Bible story, use these open-ended questions: