I have never seen the assault on the hearts and minds children like we are seeing today. From nearly every angle, children are bombarded with messages from an anti-christian culture that are designed to confuse and draw them away from the Lord.
If you are going to raise children with biblical moorings and a commitment to Christ, it’s going to take more than a list of rules or enrollment in a Christian school. Truthfully, those were never a substitute for the purposeful parenting of a mom and dad. But now, more than ever before, children need the intentional invents of godly parents and grandparents.Today, more than ever before, children need the intentional investments of godly parents and grandparents. Click To Tweet
As I had opportunity this summer to spend a week of vacation with our grown children and grandchildren, I jotted down five specific investments that I, as a grandpa, can make in their lives. All five of these apply to parents or grandparent—men or women. But I especially thought of them in the context of dads and grandpas. I hope they encourage you to purposefully invest in your children or grandchildren this fall.
How can you do it?
1. Serve them.
Attend their games. Tie their shoes. Read them a story. Listen to them share about their day or their problems. Children have 1,001 needs. Have a servant’s heart that looks for ways to love and encourage.
But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. (Luke 22:26–27)
I know that sometimes children get spoiled and expect everything to go their way. And I’m not suggesting that you cultivate an attitude of entitlement.
But just as children can get spoiled, dads and grandads can be selfish. It’s easy for a dad to think, “I work hard all day; it’s their mom’s responsibility to care for them.” I hear dads say things like, “I know my wife wants me to spend more time with the kids, but I just need time with the guys after work.” Could I tell you bluntly? If you’re not spending time shooting baskets with your son, you should not take time to shoot baskets with the guys from work. Yes, cultivate other relationships in your life, but give your family priority.Cultivate other relationships in your life, but give your family priority. Click To Tweet
As a grandparent, too, look for ways to reach out to encourage your grandchildren—whether they live near or far. Praise them. Tell them what you appreciate about them. Stay engaged in their interests and pursuits, and try to be a blessing to them.
2. Engage in teaching moments.
Look for every moment in which you can teach the Word of God to your children and grandchildren.Look for every moment in which you can teach the Word of God to your children and grandchildren. Click To Tweet
God instructed Israel to teach their children His Word all throughout the day—to talk about it as they went through daily activities and to put physical reminders of it around the house and even on their person.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6–9)
Perhaps you have noticed that children have many questions! As they get older, they don’t always voice their questions, but they still have a great need for wise and biblical input on the topics they encounter.
Nearly every day that you are with your children or grandchildren, there will be something that comes up that could be a teaching moment. It might be a question from them, or it might be a commercial you turn off on the television. It could be a moment of beauty that reminds you of God’s power, or it could be a situation that came up at school. Rather than just ignoring these moments or giving the quick answer and moving on, take a minute to teach your children biblical truth.
3. Invest in them.
Whether it is Christian school tuition or a fries-and-Coke date with Dad, children are a worthy investment.Children are a worthy investment. Click To Tweet
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psalm 127:3)
Plan time with your children and grandchildren. Be quick to sacrifice for their needs. Make sure they know that, while you may not be able to do all for them you would like, there is no one and nothing you would rather spend time and money on then them.
As children get older, you can also invest in them by teaching them the value of diligent work and helping them earn money. Work with them. Teach them the character skills and work ethic that will equip them to support themselves in the future.
4. Be a peacemaker.
Sometimes dads and granddads leave this one to moms and grandmothers. But something great takes place in the heart of a child when he sees his dad or granddad take the leadership to rectify misunderstandings or mend family relationships.Something great takes place in the heart of a child when he sees his dad or granddad take the leadership to rectify misunderstandings or mend family relationships. Click To Tweet
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
As parents and grandparents walk with the Lord, they can model love and relational skills before the children in their family with an impact no one else has. Show your children what Proverbs 15:1 teaches that “A soft answer turneth away wrath.” Teach them through your example “how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
Don’t be the angry dad who is driving the family away. Be the one who cares to make restoration and show love in family relationships.
5. Pray for them.
Prayer is the single greatest investment you can make in the lives of your children and grandchildren.Prayer is the single greatest investment you can make in the lives of your children and grandchildren. Click To Tweet
Every day, I pray for my four married children and their spouses and my eleven grandchildren by name. And as I come to each name, I pray specifically for the needs I am already aware that they have. Some of my grandchildren aren’t saved yet; I pray that they would understand the gospel and trust Christ. Some of my grandchildren are growing in an area—perhaps leaning to share or having a hard time at school; I pray specifically for these needs.
Sometimes children get to the age where they think they know more about everything than their parents or grandparents. Sometimes they go through seasons when they are less open to your direct counsel. But even during these times, when it feels that you can’t do much to help them avoid the mistakes you see them heading toward, you can pray for them. So pray daily, fervently, and specifically for them.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)