Grandparents. I loved mine. I didn’t know my maternal grandfather, but the two grandmas and one grandpa I was blessed to know were very cool people. Of course, I didn’t appreciate them as much as I should have when I had the chance.
Last week, Dad posted a thoughtful things I wonder about post. And while some of Dad’s thoughts were fun and fantastical (what would I do if I won the lottery?), and some were challenging (how does a church really live as disciples of Jesus?), one of his questions in particular has been on my mind all week.
Dad asked: How can I encourage our grandkids as they begin their adult lives?
I’m all over this question, actually, because some of those grandkids belong to me and the whole, Yikes, my kids are growing up and soon they will be on their own and are they going to be okay out there in the big ole world is a thought… prayer… question… that lies heavy on my heart.
So, Dad. Since you asked!
Six Ways Grandpa Can Encourage His Grandkids:
1. Pray for them. Now I know you are going to say that you do pray for them. Of course you do. But I’m talking pray for them. Write one kid’s name per day on your calendar and pray specifically for him. Email or write or text or phone him once in a while and tell him you are praying for him. Tell him what you are praying for in his life. Ask him what he would like you to pray about. Since you have eight grandkids, each one will be specifically and carefully prayed over forty-five time in one year!
2. Communicate. Share yourself with them. Start a grandchildren email list and send an email out once in a while, sharing a thought or experience or something you’d like them to think about. Or do it snail mail. Or individually instead of as a group. Whatever.
3. Do things in their names and then tell them about it. Today I volunteered here or I donated to this or that or I spent some time in the garden in prayer, and I did it in your name. Name stars after them, or buy chickens for families in Africa, or take a mission trip, or work in your church’s children’s ministry program… in their honour. How cool for them to know that they inspired some action on your part.
4. Share your story. Take the time to write some stuff down. Tell them what it was like for you growing up. The details of where you lived and what you did, but also the journey. What did it feel like to get married? What was it like to be a teacher? Why have you stayed faithful to Jesus all these years? What have you learned?
5. Plan to share something specific from your life with each of them. A memento, specifically for her, that has some meaning attached to it. Tell her the story behind it, and why you want her to have it.
6. Bestow a blessing.
If you have any other suggestions or ideas to offer, please respond in the comments section. Dad and I would love to hear them! I’m pretty sure there will be some grandkids in my future, and I like to be prepared!
And thanks for reading. Really.