Summary: Before passing on, make sure you pass it on by leaving a legacy because when grandparents are intentional, they will make a grand impact on the next generation.
When Jeanne Calmert turned 120 years-old, she was asked to describe her vision for the future. She replied, “Very brief.” When a reporter asked what she liked best about being so old, she answered: “Well, there’s no peer pressure!”
That reminds me of an elderly man who was filling out an application for a retirement village. He very carefully and deliberately answered all the questions. After filling out his current address he came to the word “Zip” and printed: “Normal for my age.”
A young child asked a woman how old she was. She answered, “39 and holding.” The child thought for a moment and then asked: “And how old would you be if you let go?”
No matter how old you are, or whether or not you have much zip left, it’s not time to let go! If you’re in the golden years of life, you have more to give. As we grow older, our responsibilities grow with us. Listen to Psalm 92:14-15: “They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and stay green, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”
As we near the end of our Family Matters series, we’ve covered the topic of mentoring moms, marriage as it’s meant to be, serving our spouse, what to look for in a mate, singleness, gospel-centered parenting, and fathers who lead. If you want to watch or listen to any of these sermons, or read the full-text manuscripts, go to edgewoodbaptist.net or to our mobile app. Today, we’re focusing on intentional grandparenting.
Here’s the main idea: Before passing on, make sure you pass it on by leaving a legacy because when grandparents are intentional, they will make a grand impact on the next generation.
We lived in Pontiac, Illinois, for 14 years before moving to the QCA. We enjoyed taking our daughters to many different parks when they were younger. Dargan Park is known for its three huge works of art made out of rusting iron. Each figure represents one of the stages of life – youth, middle age and old age. Below each one is a maxim set in stone.
• Here’s what it says under the one that depicts youthfulness: As children, learn good manners.
• The saying for the one in the middle reads: In middle age, be just.
• And here’s the phrase that describes the older man: In old age, give good advice; then die without regret.
I like that: In old age, give good advice; then die without regret.
The Grandparent Boom
In a special aired a few years back, researchers found that “The most defining social change taking place is the aging of America.” Here are some current stats.
• The baby boom has become the grandparent boom. There are now more grandparents in the U.S. than ever before – some 70 million, a 24% increase since 2001.
• Of those 65 and older, 83% say they have grandchildren.
• Of all adults over 30, more than 1 in 3 are grandparents.
• More grandparents today are living with a grandchild. Among those grandparents, a significant share (37%) also serve as their grandchild’s primary caregiver.
• Grandparents have an average of five to six grandchildren.
• The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, with this age group’s share of the total population rising from 16% to 23%.
• Life expectancy at the turn of the century was approximately 46 years; today its 78 years
• There are around 30 million Christian grandparents in the U.S.
Steve and Valerie Bell point out, “Today’s grandparents are the youngest, most fit, and most capable generation ever.”
If we expect the younger generation to grow spiritually, those of us who are older must pass on what we possess. So, here’s a question: If you’re a grandparent, are you passive or passionate about reaching and teaching the next generation? Cavin Harper states, “Grandparents are, hands down, the second most powerful influence in a child’s life and in many cases, the most significant influencer in their life.”
Several people from EBC have attended the Legacy Grandparenting Summit. I want to adapt their three purpose statements for our purposes today.
• Re-imagining grandparents so they align themselves with what Scripture teaches.
• Re-igniting a passion in grandparents for their grandchildren.
• Re-connecting relationships between grandparents and parents in order to spiritually impact the next generation.
By the way, the entire 2017 Grandparenting Summit is available for free on RightNow Media. Simply go to the “Sermon Extras” tab on our website or app to find this and other grandparenting resources.
The only way to make a significant impact in the next generation is to be singularly intentional. The American Heritage Dictionary defines intentional as “something done deliberately.” We could say it like this: “Intentional is an action performed with awareness; done deliberately, consciously, on purpose.”