Revelation 22:1 –“And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,” NASB
Ecclesiastes 7:1 – “A good name is better than a good ointment, and the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.” NASB
I want to call several things to our attention regarding the Family, Parents, and especially Grandparents, as that is the primary focus of my devotional.
First, I ask that you consider the Despair of Grandparenthood. Before you protest and say, “Despair?” let me continue. I believe there is a level of despair in Grandparenthood that is often overlooked or given little consideration. There is a certain level of Fear in Grandparenting. We all experience, to one degree or another, the Fear of Rejection. After all, the old Fogey is out of touch with modern times, right? There is the Fear of Aging and the loss of productivity, self-worth, and physical ability. There is the Fear of Failure. That would be the fear of not properly influencing the children and grandchildren that they become good parents, grandparents, and citizens.
Then, there is the Despair of Frustration. The lack of willingness of others to hear our counsel is frustrating. We see the pitfalls and dangers and when our warnings and offerings of guidance are not heeded it is frustrating. There is another element of frustration in seeing our children and grandchildren fail to heed our counsel and repeat our mistakes.
I do not and will not adopt the attitude, “Well they are grown now, so what can I do?” I cannot control their lives and do not want to. I cannot make their decisions and do not want to. However, I can pray and give them an example that, hopefully, will draw them into the light and the right paths.
The emotional strain is beyond belief when one deeply cares about the lives of those they are seeking to influence. When you have done all, you can and given it your best shot and they still reject your counsel and rebel against God, it is heartbreaking. It results in a state of broken-heartedness and many times we cry, “LORD, what can I do?” Let me offer hope, there is an answer to that question.
There is an Obligation Imposed, by God on Grandparents. We are to give those following an example worthy of being followed. Let me ask, “What is the image you are projecting?” Most of us desire to give our children and grandchildren a heritage of character rooted and grounded in a good name. It is more than being well-spoken of. It is more than a good reputation. It is a life that bears spiritual fruit and exhibits Christlikeness. It is not only a name remembered on earth but written in heaven.
That demands the question, “How Can I Project That Image?” First, make a total commitment of your life to Jesus. Second, endeavor to live totally committed daily and be conscious of your example. I have discovered that sheep are led much easier than they are driven. There is a poem that I share to remind us of a powerful truth:
“We are a living gospel, a chapter each day, by deed that we do, by word that we say; men read what we live, whether faithless or true, Say! What is the gospel according to you?”
I heard about a Hindu woman who was converted and incredibly persecuted by her husband because of her faith. The missionary asked how she responded. She said, “I cook his food better when he complains. I keep the house cleaner when he is mean. When he gives harsh words, I speak softly and kindly.” She said, “I try to demonstrate that I am a better woman because I am a Christian.” He could not resist and was converted too. I had a person tell me that she got saved because of her grandmother. She said, “I could not argue with her life.”
What can we do? My own grandparents greatly influenced my life and did so with a godly heritage. They wanted me to be better and do better. They clearly had a desire to give us a godly heritage and a followable example. That is the cry of my heart, “LORD, help me to be a right influence on my grandchildren. Help me demonstrate to them a dedicated and committed life.” I declare that “With God’s help I will do my best to be the example that will give them a godly influence.”
God bless you as you continue your journey in Christ!