Everyone is grandma (so confusing), and I loathe "granny." I wanted something easy for him to say that would distinguish me from his other grandmother (and great grandmothers). Since I am part Wasco (Indian), it seemed to me that the Wasco word for grandmother was perfect. I am officially "Kish"!
|Sam: the world's cutest grandson.|
I have had all sorts of thoughts over these past several months - specifically about how to be a blessing to my daughter and son-in-law as they embark on the parenting journey - and how to be a godly grandmother.
In fact, I had quite a post written in my head.
And then my grandson was born and his pudgy little finger wrapped me around it as love for this soft, snuggly, beauty exploded my heart.
My thoughts haven't changed from the post written in my head - but my understanding of how some grandmas can get so off track has expanded. I see how it is quite possible to lose focus on your calling to support your children and help them to raise your grandchild in the Lord - when there is a desire to focus on your own unique relationship with this incredible gift from God.
So, I have scoured God's Word for the answer to my burning question: what is the role of a Christian Grandmother?
Here is what I have found:
1. My top priority is to point my grandchildren to Jesus.
Psalm 145:4 ” One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.”Of course, this is obvious - as it's our top priority with every human being, but I can see how easy it would be to get distracted from that priority. First and foremost, every Christian grandparent is to focus on pointing her grandchildren toward the Lord - like Timothy's grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). Cute clothes, fun outings, rocking toddlers - none of it is more important than the spiritual condition of our grandchildren.
2. My second priority is to point my grandchildren to their parents.
"What happens at grandma's house stays at grandma's house."
"My job is to spoil them and send them home."
These phrases shouldn't even be in a Christian grandmother's vocabulary. After pointing them to Jesus, my job is to encourage their loving bond with their parents. Their parents are the final say on everything - unless that directly contradicts pointing my grandchildren to Christ. Fortunately, in my case, that isn't a problem.
Every grandparent should support their children's reasonable decisions (and, yes, decisions that contradict your beliefs about parenting can still be reasonable) and encourage their relationship with their children. Remember that our grandchildren are commanded to honor their parents - and it is entirely possible for we grandparents to sin if we do not encourage and require that of our grandchildren. In fact, we absolutely sin when we undermine our children's authority with their own children.
Deuteronomy 5:16 "Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
3. My next priority is to support my children, their spouses, and their marriages.
One of the worst things that could happen to my grandchildren would be that their parents split. To that end, the marriages of my children are a high priority to me. Godly parents encourage their sons and daughters to work through tough times, and commit to love one another through those times.
Titus 2:I am fortunate that I very much enjoy and appreciate my son-in-law. If I did not, that would be an opinion I would a) keep to myself and b) find a way to change. No good comes to our children, grandchildren, or ourselves when we harbor ill-will against those our children love - especially when they are the parents of our grandchildren.
So what does this look like on the ground?
I have been praying for Sam since I knew of his existence. I pray for him and his parents every day - and I seek ways to help them in their walk with the Lord and in their parenting of my grandson. I'm available to help with everything from advice to cleaning the toilet. Right now, as my daughter recovers from a cesarean, I am arranging meals and help for her when my son-in-law has to return to work - and trying not to hog her baby.
Sam will never hear a negative word from me about either of his parents - or his other family members. Nor will I ever encourage him to disregard or disobey their wishes. If I have an issue with a position my daughter or her husband have taken, I will talk to them about it in private - with respect for their ultimate authority before God for my grandson.
I will be available to watch Sam (and his future siblings and cousins, Lord willing) when my daughter and her husband need time to focus on one another - or just to get the house clean. I'll be available to answer calls about croup in the middle of the night, and to care for the family when the flu hits. I'll also be expecting my husband to tell me to back off when need be!
When Sam is with us, like our own children he will hear a lot about God. He'll be prayed with and prayed over. He'll be read to from the Bible and he'll be welcome in our devotions. Most of all, God will hear from me about Sam and his parents every chance I get!
This is a crazy, glorious, time for my family. I am overwhelmed by the blessing that the Lord has added to our family - and I am committed that my role as a grandparent is squarely within the Lord's will - not a part of my life that I enjoy so much that I refuse to submit to God's plan for grandparents - because He does have one.
Grandmas: suggestions? How have you tailored your godly grandmother walk to your situation?
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