Summary: Single sermon on the biblical role of grandparents.
"GRANDPARENTING YOUR CHILDREN"
"Where’s Our Old Fashioned Grandma?"
"Where did the Grandma of yesterday go? The Grandma that took all the kids to the show; who stopped by to chat & before we could ask it; had tackled the laundry that spilled from the basket.
Who offered to mend and made the girls dresses; and who pitched in to help with the toddler made messes;
Who came on the run when the kids needed sitting; and brought along story books, cookies & knitting.
The millennium Grandma knows how to run a computer;
she watches the market and buys stocks that suit her.
She dons a pink smock for the hospital lobby;
and has taken up sky diving - just for a hobby.
She’s gone back to College to get a degree;
and zips around town in her bright yellow Z.
Grandma’s still here and there’s no one to match her;But call before 8 or you simply won’t catch her."
The image of Grandparents has certainly changed over the years. Back in the 40’s and 50’s the image of Grandpa and Grandma were white haired, usually over 60, and retired. But research in the new millennium shows us that the new version of Grandma may be slender, attractive stylishly dressed and have an active career. Grandpa is no longer sitting on his front porch in his rocking chair, spinning old yarns either. He’s more likely to be driving a sports car on the way to the golf course. Today’s Grandpa and Grandma will be around to help with the kids but only if they are not traveling in their R.V. or working themselves. What’s contributed to the change in image of Grandparents in the last generation? A number of things: People are taking better care of themselves through advanced medicine, better diets, they have fewer children and thus shorter parenting stints and they are living longer. But while the image of Grandparents may be different the importance of Grandparents has not changed. Listen to these 2 verses of Scripture that speak of the influence we have on our children and grandchildren.
1) Numbers 14:18- “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love.. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” Now, that doesn’t mean that children are "zapped" because of something Grandpa or even Great Grandma did. But it is simply pointing out that the sin that we commit today may have lasting and devastating effects tomorrow. And the negative examples of parents and grandparents can be contagious and the consequences of that sin may be reaped for many generations.
2) But there is a plus side too. 2 Tim. 1:5. Paul tells Timothy, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice.” Christian grandparents have a tremendous opportunity to inspire their grandchildren to faith in God. And that is so important to understand because I believe Satan is mounting an all out attack on young people today - drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, suicide, humanism. And Grandparents, you are the second line of defense against that attack. You’re not the primary line, that’s the parent’s job but too often the 1st line breaks down or the front line needs reinforcements -you’re it!
So, let’s talk about how the extended family can reinforce Christian values. The American family needs every possible resource available and Grandparents can be of great assistance- if they are alert and parents are receptive. In Titus 2 there are some helpful lessons for all who are concerned about the role of Grandparents in the home.
I. THE GRANDPARENT ROLE IS IMPORTANT - SHOW RESPECT:
The 1st lesson is to understand the importance of the Grandparent role. In our text that Kelley read, Paul tells Titus to pay attention to the older men and the older women in the Church because they can influence how the younger men and women live. They can set a very positive tone for the Church and the family.
Now, unlike Oriental cultures and the culture of Biblical days- we tend to disrespect people as they grow older. We put a high value on appearance and achievement which are characteristics which decline as people age. As a result, a lot of older people feel worthless and they feel they are unwanted and in the way. So, they stand on the fringe not wanting to impose themselves on anybody.
But I think Christian families need to reverse that attitude. Our homes should be places where there is an increasing respect for older people. I’m not suggesting that grandparents become patriarchs and dominate every decision. But let’s have a respect and appreciation for the counsel of the older. Our “senior saints” and grandparents have two very valuable commodities to contribute. 1) is wisdom that comes through experience. Job 12:12- "Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?" Wisdom is an insight about life that has nothing to do with education or IQ. It comes only through experience. 2) is that grandparents have time to be of assistance. Parents are so busy trying to climb the employment and financial barriers put before them. But Grandparents are often retired, they have nothing to prove and may be able to fill in the time gaps for a traveling father or career mother.