“Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children”— Proverbs 17:6 (NLT).
“Ruby, were you trying to paint Harley’s toenails?”
“No, Nana.” I struggled to hold back my laughter as Ruby’s blue eyes revealed the truth. Wide-eyed with feigned innocence, she was trying to convince me she had nothing to do with an attempt to paint my dog’s toenails.
My four-year-old granddaughter and a friend had been sitting on the patio with my dog. Harley, trying to escape the insult of blue toenails, managed to escape. But the girls couldn’t avoid the friend’s older sister who tattled.
The Joy of Grandchildren
After my parents welcomed their first grandchild into the world, a sticker soon appeared on the rear bumper of my mother’s car. At the time, I resented the words: “If we’d known how much fun grandkids wuz, we’d had them first.”
Then, my turn came when my first grandchild was born. Cheyenne is now almost 19 years old, and I’ll be 70 next year. Where has the time gone?
But I now understand what that bumper sticker meant to my parents. What a blessing it is to have grandchildren in our advancing years. There has to be some compensation for the aches and pains we experience as our bodies age. Even more important is the role we play in our grandchildren’s lives.
Grandchildren Need Role Models
Grandparents play an important role in their grandchildren’s lives. Proverbs 13:22 tells us that “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.”
The wealth God wants us to leave our children and grandchildren is not what the world believes in. As grandparents, we must teach and model the Word of God.
Psalm 92:14 reminds us that we “will still bear fruit in old age,” we “will stay fresh and green.” What a wonderful reminder for grandparents. Our role is spelled out in scripture.
Bearing Fruit in Old Age
Several weeks ago, Cheyenne and I went shopping for school clothes before she left for college. She shared stories of her summer working on a Texas horse ranch. I was amazed at her wisdom and thrilled when she said to me, “Nana, I am truly blessed.”
Nothing brings more joy to this grandmother’s heart than to know I’m still bearing fruit. Since my grandchildren were old enough to understand, I’ve been sharing the love of Jesus with them. I want them to understand how much He loves them and that His love never changes.
As my three oldest grandchildren are now in their teen years, I don’t see them as often. However, I’m blessed when I do get to spend time with them. It’s an opportunity to share my faith stories with them—the things that God has done in my life and the prayers He has answered. My grandchildren might not have understood the importance of these stories when they were younger. And that’s the legacy we need to leave with our grandchildren.
Celebrating a Grandparents Legacy
Sunday, September 11 is National Grandparents Day. The special day was created in 1978 when the U.S. Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as a time to celebrate and honor the role grandparents play across the generations.
But my role as a grandparent is more than just one special day. I am a praying grandparent because we are in a spiritual battle for our grandchildren’s lives. Times may have changed, but Satan has not. His tactics through temptation are strong.
Our grandchildren bring joy to our old age. It’s our responsibility to pass on our faith and keep praying each day for them as long as we have breath.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.