Last week we talked with Lynn Leissler, author of the story “Are All the Grown-Ups Thirsty?” in the new book releasing in August, Grandparenting Through Obstacles. Lynn had so much to share we’re continuing this week.
GTO: Lynn, tell us, what do you think is the greatest challenge faced by children today? And how can grandparents help them with this challenge?
Lynn: I see several, but the greatest is the lack of firm moorings. Sadly, in our culture we are more concerned with hurting their feelings than in molding their souls. A spiritual foundation is absent in so many homes. So when children hear conflicting messages, it’s easy to fall prey to untruth, peer pressure, fads, or their hormones. Also, parents are insanely busy and the kids get less focused attention.
GTO: What can you tell our readers to encourage them not to give up on their kids or grandkids no matter how bad their situation might look?
Lynn: I once read this quote: “Never give up on anyone…or believe that they are beyond help or hope…no matter how cold, negative, destructive, or unloving they may be. Who is to say that which is barren today will not be fruitful next year?” –Or the year after that. We as grandparents never know what tiny thing will touch our kids’ or grandkids’ hearts. My daughter, who doesn’t stay in contact, called on her birthday. She didn’t ask for anything, but just wanted to hear Mom’s voice, to connect. I praise God for that tiny good thing. We tend to desire momentous events, but often it’s a passing kindness, a casual word that embeds in another person’s heart and soul.
GTO: That’s beautiful, Lynn. What advice can you give our readers to help them become more intentional about imparting spiritual truths and values to their grandchildren?
Lynn: It depends on whether their parents are hostile or open. Either way, Jesus’ method is quite efficient. Parable teaching. For little ones who smell a daffodil, you might say something like, “Boy, God sure likes yellow, doesn’t He!” You can always respond to their questions and comments with, “I’ll pray…” or “I did pray.”
If their parents are hostile, don’t push, or you’ll gain an enemy. Instead, pray like crazy for openings from your grandkids. And when those openings come, shoot up an SOS prayer for wisdom. Walk softly with your response, for you don’t want to come across as putting down the parents. And watch for God’s opportunities and surprises!
GTO: Wonderful advice, Lynn! Thank you for sharing your insights with us. May God bless you, your children, and your grandchildren.
Please come back next week for another Thursday Interview with another contributor to the book, Grace Hewson. We’ll look forward to hearing what Grace has to say.
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