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The Role of a Grandparent

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 5, 2020 1:00 am

The Role of a Grandparent

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 5, 2020 1:00 am

Studies show that grandparents are the second most important influence in a child's life, according to Pastor Josh Mulvihill and his wife, Jen. Not only can they be a great support to weary parents, but their goal, according to Psalm 78, is to see their faith passed on to successive generations. Grandparents can be a beautiful model of God's love and compassion, even to prodigal grandchildren, but this requires they intentionally nurture the relationship between themselves and the grandchildren.

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If someone ask you what is the Bible say about grandparenting passage would come to mind.

Josh Mulvihill says there's a familiar passage that a lot of grandparents overlook most of heard of Deuteronomy 6 probably the most common passage that we think of discipleship. Most of us start with verse four. Next he starts in verse one and two says these commands are for you. Your sign and your sons, son, and so Deuteronomy 6 often thought of as only a parenting passage. It is a grandparenting passage as well. This is family life today.

Our hosts are Dave and Wilson and Bob Lapine. You can find us what is our responsibility as grandparents help mold shape influence future generations talk more about that today. Stay with us and welcome to family life today. Thanks for joining us. I don't know if this is your favorite subject, but it's pretty close to accelerating great stepdad yeah what is your degree baby being born December I will be number six and you been on the journey. Your oldest is six years old six years old yet. So you been Naro this is 34 your scratch.

We've got nine grandkids and our only Dragon just you just want to talk demonstrating that I'm older than that's why were a little ahead of you on the race on this but grandparenting is something that I think takes some of us by surprise parenting. You have nine months to get ready for you to reread the books grandparenting year from your kids are having a baby and then the baby arrives in and it never really dawns on you. Oh, we have a job to do here right find out anything interesting. I don't know if Dave loves that I do this but when our kids can't say lots drop everything and the answer is of course the answer is never no doesn't matter. Unlike nobody sees us kids and grandkids better. More than one of our's are sometimes enter the Bob Parsons called us about three weeks ago and said hey can we come over on this weekend stay with you guys and said sure. Looking forward to it and the next day Marianne was coming to me and said here's what I'm thinking will eat while they're here. She's starting to map out the man who, and then about two weeks later, the cops how we forgot we got this going on and when I can be able to come and there was mild depression news. We made a Korean kids room in your house.

Yes, I would talk to use to be in one room and we just transformed little tent in there pretty amazing. And every time I've been talking to my grandkids recently as we've been kinda demoing this round cell has to Korean kids.

I don't know how many of our listeners are even aware of this but back about five years ago there was a movement that began national grandparenting movement to the first national grandparenting conference happened in 2016 that has continued to happen over the years, and one of the people responsible for making that happen joined us on family life to a few years ago and he's back with us again today. Josh Mulvihill is here Josh welcome great to be here this time Josh brought the secret weapon I think is Jen Penn.

Josh helps give leadership to the Christian grandparent network and he's written on this subject. In fact his newest book is called discipling your grandchildren. You guys are grandparents are too young to be grandparents not grandparents in God's grace.

You will be grandparents. One day, but this passion for you came out of studying the Scriptures right yeah yeah family discipleship as a pastor for about 20 years. I saw the impact of the family or the lack of impact of family discipleship and I went back to become a better pastor to help train parents and my understanding, and God expanded that vision to include grandparents, and here we are. Many years later and got as open doors and helped us understand the immense value that grandparents have and the significant need that is out there. There's literally a probably some around 30 million Christian grandparents in America and when we started this many years ago there was very, very few resources so saw a need and I figured out God spoke through a donkey so you and us so we yes we just try to be the messenger and help individuals understand what God's word says about their role was there an aha moment for you in your study of Scripture where you went all grandparenting is a big deal. We all think about all you know all those verses on grandparenting most people couldn't even think of one well and that's right because the word grandparent really isn't used often as a word in Scripture, just a couple times but when we start looking at all the other uses of the word grandparent in Scripture, such as children's children and sons son and father's father.

We know the terms that we's we start to look for me go wow it is all over God's word. It's there, and so the big you ask what you can. What's one of the big passages from you. My favorite Psalm 78 talks about really there. The goal that were trying to see our faith passed on to the next generation and it really gets out.

Then some of the key ways to do that some of the how to God's not silent on either the what are the how to and I think will hit on both of those here Jen you were in the midst of raising toddlers when your husband was starting to focus on grandparenting did you feel a little disoriented with what he was discovering were you able to engage with kind of what he was writing about and speaking about how absolutely you know he started talking about the topic and grandparenting is very excited about it and seen her own parents being engaged with our children what is look like me just mention now I have a room for my grandkids at my house and from then she found out we were expecting our first hands-on excited to disciple the children and sell now.

I was very excited to see what Doris got it up and let impact families our own family included. You mentioned Psalm 78 and you know I pulled it right up. But I'm thinking okay there something that jumped off the page for you so talk to us about some 70 verse four says we will not hide them from their children, but tell that the coming generation that's one of the how to use the telling is pretty important.

It's that our testimony is parents and grandparents.

The notice were not the point where the pointer pointing to something beyond ourselves will hear a lot in grandparent literature all about telling your story and your history and that's a good thing. Nothing wrong with that, but that's not the end goal and so what's the Angola goes here.

Further, tell the glorious deeds of the Lord and his might, and the wonders he's done and what this really gets out here are children or grandchildren. They're going to they're gonna worship a God and it's good to be a small G God, replacement, and idle. If the true God is not embraced by them if they if they see some other God is more Creighton grand and glorious than the true God.

And so one of the things that God has given us is to tell our testimony, pointing to who he is his nature and his character to really to help them grasp who he is. So many continues.

He's established a testimony and Jacob Benny's done so never grandparent so there's a how to grandparent.

If you haven't told your testimony. God wants to use that as a point of the law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers and this is where one of the little antenna goes up for grandfathers and grandparents outward father's means forefathers but there's your second how to that we are to teach their children that the next generation might know them. The children yet unborn. And actually, if we keep reading it goes into four generations and arise and tell them to their children so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God to keep his commandments. And so we've got literally for generations there.

That's what I do know is that 160 year vision hundred 20 or vision so it's not just about grandkids.

It's about great grandkids and then we see here the so that tells us why we do all the how to stuff its hope in God, that salvation language in an obedience of God and this is where the discipleship comes out of this. We see this idea that I think of the great commission. When I see this phrase that they should not forget the works of God to keep his commandments. And so I make a beeline right to the New Testament, there teach them to obey all I have commanded and that's where we get discipleship here is parents and grandparents and you keep reading in the Solman and it gets to the forgetfulness of the generations. The reason for all of this is because we are prone to wander prone to forget if grandparents don't do their job. The future generations can become disconnected from the spiritual heritage that has been a part of a family or a part of the grandparents life. Even if your first generation.

As a Christian you may not be able to talk about your lineage of faith, but you can talk about the foundation of your family's faith in this take you put in the ground and said were going in a different direction Kind of tricky because as a grandparent, maybe your faith is superstrong and you're excited about it. You can't turn on the same page spiritually and sell.

How do we navigate do we need to ask permission if we can talk to our grandkids about so I like to talk about grandparenting with our generations were in our 40s. So if you're not a grandparent in your listening and you have a significant role in part of that is as a gatekeeper since God's given grandparents role. It's not pleasing to the Lord not to allow grandparents to engage in the way that God has designed them and so that's where the gatekeeping comes in. So, adult children, we need to open the gate to grandparents. Obviously there's a lot of dynamics at play in relationships so that's that's a generalization there.

But as far as whether to grandparents her adult children. Whether you get one that's walking with the Lord one that's not.

I think the challenge there is simply one that you've got to unequally yoked groups, so obviously you're going to be on different planes so so in that case, you know, a lot of it comes down to maintaining and building relationship. I think the best thing in the sound so simplistic, but it is God's answer us is simply in prayer and in changing hearts. You can't walk in lockstep with somebody who seeing the world completely different if we can get into the prodigal realm which the starts moving into God had a lot of prodigal himself so it's not nothing new to him. The Bible is not silent about that and maybe some of our listeners were that themselves and came back home provides some significant hope but in that instance, I look at the gospel, and it is both our map and are mere when there's a prodigal in our life and we do with our children in our family as God did with the own prodigal's he had in Jesus ate with sinners we can to Jesus continue to reach out in compassion and love even when that wasn't reciprocated and there's so many principles we can tease out a Scripture and how the gospel impacts relationships like that. So when that's a hard scenario like I think probably about 50% of most audiences that listen to us when we ask, and you give a prodigal child prodigal grandchild. At least I've never actually had an audience were less than 50%, hasn't raised her hand, ever thin doing this for about 10 years and so it's common but I think prayer is the answer we can go to the Lord, and he changes hearts and we do that to the throne as long as we need to and invite others to join us and that I find it interesting as you go back to Psalm 78 may much of the it's a long song yell ends and 72 verses much of after is what you read is about the rebellion of Israel and then it's a very undetectable David, Amy, you can apply this to a grand parent, grand dad or mom says with upright heart. He shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand as I read it now with you to sit here and talk about this topic a bike that's my call as a grandpa. They call me poppy that is my call. I am with upright heart amine and so sort of talk about prodigal here as well. But whether prodigal or not it's easy for grandparent to step back and think what's on my job anymore. It's the parents and yet he center now with upright heart skillfully guide and like Bob said, you have the forgetfulness we are the connection through the generations to say. Let's remember. Never forget what God did were first generation Christians and so we had a your mission change. The Wilson name change Wilson legacy from adultery and alcohol to a different thing. So it's now going through our car, grandkids, and like that's my job. That's our job.

But it's our call and I think it's so important what you said grandparents who have a burden for the grandkids to know Christ. We can become so focused on that the we think every time I talk to them. I got to be doing to build a relationship with your grandkids and build a strong solid relationship that's gonna be the bridge that is going to enable those conversations they're going to be initiating those conversations with you again in 13 years there to be saying, so tell me about when you went to college. Tell me about when you were a little girl and those are the conversations where you can comfortably naturally share your testimony and talk about God's work in your life as long as a relationship is solid there. I'm starting to think about some of the relationship markers that we need to be anticipating.

I remember talking to a grandfather who said we have a bar mitzvah event log grandkids. So when a grandchild turns 13 they get to go on a trip for seven days with grandpa anywhere in the world they want to go. Okay, so they picked the city and will take on me that's that's a big deal right you have cost a lot of money. But this grandfather says if I want to invest. That's what I want to invest in. So, at age 10. We say start thinking about where you're gonna want to go. When you turn 13 start building some anticipation for that course the grandfather is thinking not just about the rides at Disney World or the Eiffel Tower or wherever you may be going.

He's thinking about seven days of relationship and spiritual deposits in conversations what he's gonna get to have with his grandkids and is good to go to your grandkids and say Venice you should grandchild. Our oldest granddaughter Holly traveled the world together someday and she said thin dreams with me-where should we go.

I've already prepped her.

I just need to get the money has to be around the world. It could be somewhere simple, but somewhere that they would love your budget is a restricted budget than you say let's plan a week together and you pick the stake claim to in the. The kids aren't as that's right so just walk us through you map out for us in the book. What are the responsibilities what are the characteristics of a grandparent who wants to make disciples of his grandkids so can you give us that roadmap. Can you do that yeah most of heard of Deuteronomy 6 probably the most common passage that we think of what discipleship most of us start with verse four Lexi starts in verse one and two. It says these commands are for you, your son and your sons, son, and so I Deuteronomy 6 often thought of as only a parenting passage. It is a grandparenting passage as well.

But when we think about some of the characteristics I was going to read you a couple that really jumped out to me in my study of Scripture Psalm 128 six says, may you see your children's children and that's just one example of how the Bible talks about the blessing of grandchildren which is significant simply because our world often sees children in general, just not as blessings today but is burdensome not only the cost factor. You've probably seen the financial expense of a child, but also the time factor and with grandparents is often a lifestyle impact as well. And so what we have found is that often grandparent see specifically grandparents in general or specific grandchild as a burden and so one of the conversations we often have with grandparents is regarding the idea of not only our you a blessing to your grandchildren but your grandchildren are a huge blessing to you.

So that's one a second characteristic of a disciple making grandparent is simply understanding the purpose which God is created grandparents for there's been some studies that have found that grandparents are the second greatest influence in the life of children and many think most know parents are number one but will often jump to something else is number two. Whether that's peers or teacher. The coach past. As you know you whatever it is all that you know whatever the study is social media mask out of the Tatas and solicit so you're saying there's a purpose yeah grandparent, absolutely a purpose. Yep, God designed it and for purpose and we see now more than ever the great need that children have to have godly influences in their life, not just parents but also other ones. Whether that's God's built in grandparents that is built in the church for that. We have five kids, we want as many godly influences in our kids lives as possible.

And so for Jen and I are mothers both died. Jen's mom died of brain cancer mind ALS really didn't have a huge relationship with their grandmother's most didn't even know them and then of course that changes your family dynamics. When mom steps out and so we've essence had had this little taste of what it's like not to have the godly influence to the same degree that God designed it due to death and it's a loss for us. You feel the weight of parenting in a greater capacity because grandparents aren't there and in part in a grandparents. I think in God's design are there to support and help and share the weight then another voice and another influence, and you know that's in the eye and the perfect world right where there's you know it two-parent family mom and dad where there's grandparents that love the Lord and there are those we find that's about 25% of families so if you're in that 25 your listening in the 25% category.

Consider yourself blessed.

And if you're not grandparents then come in. Often times as the last line of defense of the support figures that then end up bringing in supplementing what is lost from mom and dad and part of God's design for that yeah is itching when you say that Mab haven't thought about this in a long time but I thought of my grandparents and your mom and ever divorced was seven never really I think I met him one time my dad's parents because he was pretty much out of my life.

But as I think about my mom's parents, my grandparents. They were safety for me as I look back at me and looking at the purpose and in my life for them was when I went to Leland and Hallie's house. I felt like it was safe and you think back to the trauma I was going through a friend a guy yeah brother died the same year so that I can remember walking in there and it felt like.

And I don't think I felt anywhere my life and yet grandma and grandpa. I wanted to be there all the time. Now I know why is God's purpose for them in my life then to give me a stability that would be a foundation that my mom wasn't really able to give me a grandparents gave appreciated that relationship. I'm sure she appreciated that the court and that extra voice that was speaking into you and exhale for her in your grandparents home. Praise the Lord for that she actually ended up moving back to her parents that they can't help her with the kids great purpose that you know you think sit here thinking you know you obviously generations later did my grandma know that Guarantee she lived on purpose for this little boy so I may want to call grandparents you have this. This is where we have to recognize again. It kinda took us by surprise. We'd always thought a grandparenting as did that nice chapter that's gonna be full of sweet memories and you have seen the bumper stickers that say were spending our grandkids inheritance in the back of the Army or or you see grandparents who will say if I'd known grandparenting was is great at her head, grandkids first write all of those kind of fun, sweet moments, but we have to be intentional and not just sentimental about grandparenting because the Bible calls us to real intentionality that your heartbeat and ABSOLUTE yeah and it's the heartbeat of the book discipling your grandchildren which is a book that we got in our family life today resource Center.

You can go to get Josh's book discipling your grandchildren, great ideas to help them know love and serve God order or call us if you'd like to order by phone one 800, FL, today is the number 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today and let me just a word to parents about our responsibilities as parents to disciple our kids. We talk this week with Adam Griffin, who has written a book called family discipleship and we think what Adam has outlined is so helpful, so practical for moms and dads to know how to engage with their kids to talk about spiritual issues to help create spiritual formation in the lives of your kids we're making Adams book available this week to anyone who can support the ministry of family life with a donation. Adam Cole wrote this book with pastor Matt Chandler. Again, the title of the book is family discipleship.

It's our thank you gift when you go to make a donation or when you call one 800 FL today. Your donations to family life are the lifeblood of this ministry, we are able to reach more people more often thanks to your ongoing support for this ministry and were so grateful. So again, go to family life to donate or call one 800 FL today and be sure to ask for your copy of the book family discipleship as our thank you gift. We look forward to get a copy up to you and we hope you can join us again tomorrow. Especially if you're a grandparent and continue our conversation about discipling grandchildren with Josh and Jim Mulvihill hope you can be back with us then as well. I don't think our engineer today.

Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson on Bob Lapine see you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life to a is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. Accrue ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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