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Intersection of Life and Faith

10 Ways Grandchildren are a Blessing

  • Lori Hatcher Author
10 Ways Grandchildren are a Blessing

Call me skeptical, but I couldn’t imagine that all the hype about grandchildren was true. I love my daughters, and I assumed I’d also love my grandchildren, but there had to be more to it than that. Why else would normal, rational, level-headed adults turn into absolute fools at the mere mention of their grandchildren?  

Author Lois Wyse once said, “If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first.”

Now that I have three grandchildren of my own, I get it. As I bask in the glory of grandparenting, I’ve discovered ten ways grandchildren are a blessing. I’m sure you can add a few more to my list.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/monkeybusinessimages

1. Grandchildren love us.

1. Grandchildren love us.

I’ve never been so thoroughly loved by any human beings than I have by my grandchildren. They fight over who gets to sit on my lap, share a popsicle, or read the next story. They ask to Facetime when they can’t visit, fling themselves into my arms with joyous abandon, and cry when they have to leave me. Who else in my world adores me like this?

When my son-in-law knew my husband and I were only minutes away from their home, he announced, “Gigi and Papa are coming. Go watch for them.” Lauren (4) and Caroline (2) dragged chairs to the glass front door. When we drove up, they jumped up and down, shouting our names over and over.

“I have one question,” my son-in-law said, shaking his head. “What did you do to make them love you so much?” We didn’t have to do anything. That’s the beauty of it.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/monkeybusinessimages

2. Grandchildren accept us.

2. Grandchildren accept us.

Author Ruth Goode captured this beautifully when she wrote, “Our grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends – and hardly ever our own grown children.”

They don’t care we’re a few pounds overweight, don’t make as much money as the neighbor, or can never remember our computer passwords. We don’t have to prove ourselves or earn their favor. Grandchildren know how to look beyond outward appearance straight into our hearts. If they see love there, that’s all they need.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Jon Feingersh

3. Grandchildren give us permission to be silly.

3. Grandchildren give us permission to be silly.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine,” Proverbs 17:22 says, “but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” There’s nothing more fun than a silly grandchild. Laughter bursts out at the slightest provocation, and we’ll do anything to hear that musical jingle. From baby peek-a-boo, to horsey rides, to bedtime stories complete with a different voice for every character, the silliness just keeps coming. 

There’s an unwritten rule that parents have to be serious at least some of the time, but there’s no such requirement for grandparents. Psychologists have long recognized laughter as a powerful form of social bonding. Think about it – don’t you love being around people who love to laugh? Perhaps this is why the grandchild/grandparent connection is so strong – we laugh a lot. 

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/monkeybusinessimages

4. Grandchildren invite us to slow down and savor the simple things.

4. Grandchildren invite us to slow down and savor the simple things.

During my parenting years, there was never enough time. “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get,” was my motto. If I wasn’t cooking and cleaning, I was shopping and carpooling. Although I was busy from “can’t see to can’t see,” I’d often lay my tired head on the pillow and scroll through the list of things I’d wanted to do with my children that day, but never got around to it.

Now that I’m a grandma, I’m still busy, but when I spend time with my grands, I’m all there – on their timeline. If they want to pick dandelions and walk around the block leaving them on the neighbor’s doorsteps, I’m all in. If they want to read The Best Nest four times in a row, let’s do it. If we start out to plant a garden and wind up collecting roly polys, so be it. My grandchildren have taught me to slow down, look deeply, and simply savor being together.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/vadimguzhva

5. Grandchildren provide and opportunity to share our faith.

5. Grandchildren provide and opportunity to share our faith.

Second Timothy 1:5 describes the sweetness of multi-generational faith. Of Timothy, Paul wrote, “I am 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.” There is no greater joy than to share our faith with our grands.

Time gives us a perspective we didn’t have 20 or 30 years ago. Maybe, out of fear, we pushed too hard. Or weren’t a very good faith example. Grandchildren give us a do-over, a second chance to impact another generation for Christ. It is my deepest hope to have a part in seeing my grandchildren come to faith. I often pray Psalm 103:17: “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children.”

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Wavebreakmedia

6. Grandchildren make us think.

6. Grandchildren make us think.

“Gigi, why did God make fire ants?” Earlier that day Lauren’s little sister, Caroline, had stumbled onto a fire ant hill. The experience had traumatized them both, causing Lauren to wrestle with some deep, unanswerable questions. As did I.

Some other questions I’ve been forced to think through lately are:

  • Where does your lap go when you stand up? (On vacation)
  • What’s that flap of skin called at the back of your elbow? (An elbow wiggle)
  • Why doesn’t everybody love God? (It’s complicated)

Sometimes I look it up. Other times I pray about it. Sometimes the only honest answer I can give is, “I don’t know.” But as much as possible, my grands and I think it through together.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/monkeybusinessimages

7. Grandchildren give us a chance to invest in the future.

7. Grandchildren give us a chance to invest in the future.

Proverbs 13:22 reminds us, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children's children,” and that’s what I want to do. I want to invest in my grandchildren’s education, their interests, and their spiritual growth. I don’t want to thoughtlessly fund just any activity, but I want to help pay for activities that will help them discover the gifts and talents God has given them. 

I want to help send them to Christian camp and on summer mission trips. I want to buy biographies of great men and women of God to show them who the real heroes and heroines are. I want to teach them to give and serve sacrificially as they watch my example.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Purestock

8. Grandchildren give us an opportunity to serve.

8. Grandchildren give us an opportunity to serve.

Not every moment with our grands is fun or easy. Infants cry, toddlers throw tantrums, and older kids get grumpy. Our patience wears thin. Requests for babysitting seldom come at convenient times, but we remember how it was when we desperately needed a night out, and we say yes as often as possible.

Through patient and sacrificial service, we model Jesus to our loved ones and pay it forward into the next generation. When my children were young, I had to work part time. My mother drove 45-minutes across town three days a week to care for my children. What a precious gift. I am forever grateful for the years she invested in my children and want to do my best to be equally helpful to my daughters.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Kuzmichstudio

9. Grandchildren keep us young.

9. Grandchildren keep us young.

If left to myself, I’m afraid I will become a rigid, self-serving, stick-in-the-mud. I’ll eat the same breakfast every day, never get my hair wet, and take myself far too seriously. I’ll avoid risks, become horribly out of touch, and miss out on some of the most fun years of my life. 

Spending time with my grandchildren will make sure this will never happen. In the almost five years since I’ve been a grandmother, I’ve eaten food in colors I didn’t know food came in, visited more parks than in my lifetime, and discovered some of the best new books. At least once a week I’ve said, “I’ll try it if you try it,” and smiled more than I ever have. 

I think Psalm 92:14 describes godly grandparents: “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.”

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/dobok

10. Grandchildren teach us about God.

10. Grandchildren teach us about God.

If parenthood gave me the ability to glimpse the Father heart of God, grandparenthood has displayed it on the big screen. I realize that the love I have for my grands is simply a reflection of his love for me. 

To be able to answer my grandchildren’s questions, I must be full of wisdom. The only way to be full of wisdom is to dig deeply into God’s Word and pray often and well. I claim daily the promise of James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

And when my little ones sin against me or each other, my heart breaks, just like God’s does when I sin against him. This regular reminder of how often I fail him and how freely he forgives me keeps me humble. May we continue to learn about God together.

“Children's children are a crown to the aged” (Proverbs 17:6).

Lori Hatcher is a blogger, inspirational speaker, and author of the Christian Small Publisher’s 2016 Book of the Year, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women.She’s also Gigi to three tiny humans who live delightfully close to her in Lexington, South Carolina. A Toastmasters International contest-winning speaker, Lori’s goal is to help busy women connect with God in the craziness of everyday life. She especially loves small children, soft animals, and chocolate. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter(@lorihatcher2) or Pinterest(Hungry for God).

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/monkeybusinessimages




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