The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
II Timothy 1:5
Most of us have fond memories of grandparents who hold a special place in our hearts. The Bible has much to say about grandparents. They play a major role in the Kingdom of God. The book of Genesis is a foundational book. It tells about families, births, deaths, marriages, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren. By these records, God is showing us the importance of each position. Godly grandparents bring stability, experience, and wisdom to the family, church, and community. As they are dear to the heart of God, we must honor them and lift them up in high esteem, for they are a gift from heaven. Amen.
In this article we will take a brief look at the role, responsibilities, and rewards of grandparents. Numerous grandmothers and grandfathers are found in the Scriptures, but the name “grandmother” is mentioned only once. I pray that this article will be a blessing.
The Role of Grandparents
Grandparents play an important role in the life of the family. In II Timothy 1:5, the writer speaks of the faith of Timothy along with his mother and grandmother (Lois) who had given him spiritual instructions, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” There is no mention of his father, except that he was a Gentile. Lois, Timothy’s grandmother, was a devout Jewish woman who had taught her daughter and grandson in the Old Testament Scriptures. Her faith is called unfeigned, that is, without hypocrisy or deceit. In other words, her faith was genuine. We need more grandmothers like this in our world.
In Holy Writ, we always see grandparents listed with family. For example, when Jacob and his family went down to Egypt to live, his sons and his son’s sons’ and sons’ daughters are mentioned, “And Jacob rose up from Beer-sheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him: His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.” (Genesis 46:5-7). Again in Exodus 10:2, a similar statement is given, “And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.” In the Bible, we do not see grandparents running the roads in motor homes or living in retirement villages in Florida, neither do we find them thrown off in nursing homes. Most of the elderly receive physical care in these places apart from family care. The government has helped divide the family through their many programs. One of these is Social Security. Not only is it costly, but also it opened a way for grandparents to live independently from their children and grandchildren. In years past, they had to look to their family for provisions, but not so in our modern society. Many grandparents are separated from family and their God given role. Their life is centered around bingo, bridge, pulling the levers of slot machines, and shopping. God help us to realize our purpose in life as we age and mature in our lives. In Proverbs 17:6, we have a picture of an aging grandparent delighting in his grandchildren. In the first clause we are told, “Children's children are the crown of old men . . .” This verse speaks of a mutual love between grandparents and grandchildren that they share in each other. Each relationship in life is special and unique and the same is true of the grandparents and grandchildren. It is a gift from our Creator.
The Responsibility of Grandparents
Grandparenting has its responsibilities, and that is, to pass on a spiritual heritage to the next generation (Psalms 78:1-7). Grandparents are to infuse their faith not only to their children, but also to their grandchildren, Deuteronomy 4:9, “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons.” They must be established in the covenant of their God. It has been said that, “Youth is the time to get instruction, middle age is the time to use it, and old age is the time to pass it on.” We teach not only by word, but also by example, Proverbs 16:31, “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” The white hair represents wisdom and experience. It is a wonderful testimony to the younger generation when the older generation be found in righteousness. In Genesis 48, we see the concern of Jacob to bless his grandchildren (the sons of Joseph) as he lay dying. Joseph knew the importance of this blessing on his children. Families had much closer ties in times past than in our society. Abraham helped in the training of his grandchildren. He had many children and lived about 35 years after Isaac married (Genesis 18:19, 25:1-6).
According to Titus 2:1-7, the older are to be teachers of the younger. Grandparents are extremely important in the life of children. God purposely slows them down to fulfill their role. They have the time, experience, maturity, wisdom, stability, and love to perform this task. God never intended the experience of life to be wasted, but to be passed on. Grandparents are to be a testimony to the little ones in their life, marriage, work, and faithfulness to God. By the way, if children are placed in school outside the home, grandparents will be able to play very little role in their lives.
The Reward of Grandparents
The reward of grandparents is to see their children and grandchildren walking with the Lord God, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 4) It is a wonderful blessing when children imitate the faith of godly parents and grandparents. According to Jeremiah 35, Jonadab’s descendents (House of the Rechabites) were still walking in his faith and instructions a few hundred years after his death. This kind of report would thrill the heart of any grandparent. We must strive to leave this kind of legacy among our descendents. We must have a positive impact on our grandchildren. The greatest inheritance you can leave them is a good name. This is not the time to spoil them with the junk of this world, but prepare them to lay up treasures in heaven. We must forever pray for their welfare in the Kingdom of God.
In conclusion, the gray hair should be respected and honored in our family, church, and society. They have a lot to offer to the younger generation. Many churches are entertaining the youth, while ignoring the aged. In the United States, since 1978, the Sunday after Labor Day has been set aside to honor grandparents. I suggest that we honor them 365 days a year and give them the proper role in the family and the Kingdom of God.
“The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.”
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523