One of the four sections of challenges in our book is the challenge of partnering with parents. In some cases, such as when the parents are also believers and they are not in opposition with the grandparents, partnering may come easily to both parties. But even under idyllic circumstances, struggles may arise.
The stories in our book about partnering range from Grandma stepping in to bring church to her grandson when her son and daughter-in-law won’t make family time for church, to a grandmother who had to help take care of her grandson when her son-in-law was in prison and her daughter went back to school, to a grandmother who stayed with her grandchildren for three months and helped her grandson overcome his many fears. (This last story is written by contributor, Ann Kronwald, who we will be interviewing later this week.)
As you can see, partnering may come in many forms. It may be as simple as providing the parents an extra set of hands or offering additional spiritual nurturing of their kids; or it may involve making life-changing sacrifices, such as taking in a grandchild for a period of time. Regardless of the level of difficulty, God’s grace will be available to help you handle it.
As you consider how you might best partner with your son or daughter, take time to invite the Lord into your situation. Here are a few ways you can do this:
1. Ask God about the specific ways you are to get involved. You want to make sure you’re not going to be overstepping your boundaries, but at the same time you want your efforts to be effective.
2. If you’ll be heading into a touchy situation, ask God to go before you and soften the hearts of those involved. Ask Him also to give you the words to say to your son or daughter so as to not cause offense.
3. Ask God to help you respond in love, humility, and in a Christlike manner to each situation you encounter.
4. Ask God to change your heart so that you are willing to be obedient to anything He asks you to do, even if it involves a major sacrifice or lifestyle change.
Perhaps the best way to partner with your grandkids’ parents is to pray for your grandchildren–whether their parents are doing so themselves or not. To help with this, we encourage you to take a look at Christian Grandparenting Network, which has many prayer-related resources, devotionals, and articles, including the Grandparents’ Prayer Card written by Lillian Penner.
And, we’d like to ask you: What is one way you’ve partnered with your grandchildren’s parents and how has God used your efforts?