Today we are pleased to have a guest blog post from author and speaker Janet Thompson. Janet is the author of the Face-to-Face Bible study series from New Hope Publishers, including the study Face-to-Face With Lois And Eunice: Nurturing Faith in Your Family, and many other books.
“5 Ways to Spiritually Nurture Your Grandchildren”
by Janet Thompson
The crowd at the Easter Cowboy Breakfast down by the river went silent as my 6-year-old granddaughter Katelyn recited John 3:16. I was the speaker that morning giving the Gospel message of Easter and I had asked Katelyn if she would like to help me—she didn’t hesitate. When she came forward and clearly spoke into the microphone, I was one proud beaming Grammie, as were her parents and siblings sitting in the front row. Later that day, Katelyn asked me what Scripture I was going to ask her to recite next time. That’s my girl!
How I love being a grandmother: it’s as if God saved the best for last. Interestingly, the only woman in the Bible referred to as a “grandmother” is Timothy’s grandmother, Lois. She and her daughter Eunice received accolades from the apostle Paul on their rearing of his protégé and future pastor, young Timothy: “I [Paul] have been reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5). “And from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
As a grandmother of eleven grandchildren who all know about Jesus and some know Jesus as their personal Savior, here’s what I’ve learned from Lois:
- Pray for, mentor, and nurture the faith of your adult children—the parents of your grandchildren. I put pictures of my grandchildren in my Bible and look at their sweet faces as I pray for them every day.
- Give with a purpose. Choose gifts that introduce grandchildren to Jesus at an early age. Shop at Christian bookstores or online at www.christianbooks.com to find age-appropriate games, books, DVDs, CD’s, and toys. Christmas and Easter are especially good times to give them an age-appropriate Bible.
- Look for opportunities to talk to grandchildren about Jesus and His love for them. For example my three-old granddaughter Sienna would only jump into her older brother’s arms at the swimming pool even though other kids were trying to get her to jump to them. We talked later that Sienna trusted her brother because she knew he was trustworthy, just like we can trust Jesus.
- Be a role model that family members admire and respect.
- Assume an active role in your grandchildren’s lives, even if you live far apart. Stay current and don’t criticize the things that interest them. Learn their communication style—email, texting, Skype, cell phone, social networking. Remain relatable and relational with each generation.
Lois and Eunice were intentional in raising Timothy in his faith. The world didn’t set standards for their home, God did. They knew God’s Word and taught it to Timothy. An effective way to help parents and kids learn Scripture is through songs and CD’s. The kids love to play them in the car and sing along and soon mommy and daddy are learning them too.
Parents are often so busy raising their children, that they rely on the church to educate the kids spiritually. Grandparents are usually at a stage of life where they can help parents nurture faith in the home. If relationships are strained with adult children or you don’t live close, you can still pray for them.
My prayer is that my legacy to my grandchildren will be: Grammie taught us about the Bible and Jesus, and she lived what she believed.
What spiritual legacy are you leaving for your family?
We would like to add that many wonderful Christian books can also be found on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com that ChristianBook.com does not carry, including our book Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ.
Thank you, Janet, for stopping by today and sharing your tips with us. May God richly bless your writing, your ministries, your grandchildren, and all your family. And may God richly bless our readers and your families also.
Janet Thompson is founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and director of About His Work Ministries. She’s a speaker and author of sixteen books, including Face-to-Face With Lois And Eunice: Nurturing Faith in Your Family—one of seven books in the Face-to-Face Bible study series (New Hope Publishers). Janet and her husband Dave love being Grammie and Grampa, and understand the difficulties of long distance grandparenting—only three of their eleven grandchildren live near them. Visit Janet at www.womantowomanmentoring.com