As we celebrate Father’s Day today, I would like to honor this occasion reflecting on the biblical role that we, grandparents, can play in our multi-generational family.
When our first granddaughter was born seven years back, God gave me Proverbs 17:6 to meditate on. This verse declares that “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers”. This crown that we wear may not be adorned with jewels or exotic ornaments but rather, it is filled with precious memories of our grandchildren’s milestones as we interact with them at various phases of their lives.
Moses reminded the Israelites (and us too) in Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children”. We are commanded to ensure that our children and grandchildren know of God’s glorious deeds. Not only are we to walk this straight and narrow path with our eyes fixed on Jesus, we are also called to be a disciple-maker to the future generation.
Psalm 78:4-7 give us some insights on how we can pass this baton of faith, entrusted to us, to our children and grandchildren.
“ 4We will not hide them from their children but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done. 5He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, 6that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, 7 so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God.”
Firstly, we are to intentionally share with our grandchildren our salvation story and testimonies of God coming alongside us, whether in times of blessings or trials and tribulations. God has given us this privilege to be His witness, using our own life as the means to glorify Him.
Secondly, we are commanded to teach them not only the works of God (what God had done) but also the word of God (what God has said) through the reading of the bible together so that they too will walk in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Grandparenting is not to be confused with parenting. The charge of bringing up the children belongs to their parents as their primary caregivers, not the grandparents. God has decreed that the glory of children is their fathers (Proverbs 17:6). We must be mindful not to usurp or override their mandate of bringing up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord. Even if we do not agree with their methods, we are to honour them and respect their decisions. To do otherwise will ultimately lead to disagreement and conflicts in the family.
As we celebrate Father’s Day today, my prayer is that we each embrace our respective biblical role in accordance with God’s overall design for the family (Colossians 3:18-21). May we seniors too, learn to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12) and for us to continue to “still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (Psalm 92:14-15).
By brother Vincent Lim