In honor of grandparents everywhere I submit to you the following observations… You might be a Grandpa if when your darling granddaughter gets purple Jell-O on your $90.00 light blue Brooks Brothers tie and all you can say is “Don’t worry sweetheart, papaw can get it cleaned and if not, oh well!” You might be a Grandpa if when your little buddy of a grandson knocks the new I Phone 6 out of your hand onto a concrete floor shattering the face of your state of the art smart phone and all you can muster in response is, “Well, papaw knows you didn’t mean to break his $300.00 phone.” You might be a Grandpa if when the afore mentioned granddaughter scratches the paint on your new car with her “Frozen” backpack and without hesitation you utter the words, “Why, you can’t even see the scratch, don’t worry your pretty little self about it!” All of which cause your grown children to summon forth the words… “Who are you people?” Admittedly, since I became a grandparent almost 5 years ago I have experienced somewhat of a transformation. For example I have found myself becoming legacy minded. Not that I never considered it before, but now I think of their future and what I can add to its value. I also have experienced a redefinition of priorities. Oh, I believe I had my priorities in line before; what I mean is that now when they need papaw, that’s my priority. And lastly I realized that I have now been transformed into a practitioner of patience, much more than I ever exhibited as a parent if you know what I mean. Again, making me, for the most part, unrecognizable to my adult children!
The Psalmist wrote, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. Now I do recognize that the writer was referring to children here and not grandchildren however there is clearly a lesson or two that stands out to both parents and grandparents. First off arrows are created with purpose. They are created for a reason. They are not drumsticks or ball bats, they are arrows and they have a purpose. An arrow is designed to be placed in a bow and then launched forth by the handler of said bow with a purpose in mind. There is an intended destination in mind. I love the prophet Jeremiah’s words that remind us that even before we were conceived, we had a purpose… “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” That is the case for every child! This leads me to the second lesson, which is that we are entrusted with the aiming! We influence their trajectory and destination! Oh yeah, I guess the parents play a role! Just kidding here, they in God’s design play the primary role but a close second place… I believe is the grandparent. Wow what a thought! What a responsibility… and while I am at it What a Joy!!!
In referring to the role of grandparents Dr. James Dobson writes… “They have a God-given responsibility to influence their grandkids, and most of them are more than willing to fit the bill. There is a very helpful book called The Gift of Grandparenting, by Eric Wiggen. Here are some excerpts from it that will, I hope, not only motivate single parents to look to their parents but will inspire grandparents to get more involved with grandkids. These are the considered words of Eric Wiggen: The same grandmother who beat me at checkers when I was nine became a friend in whom I could confide when I was 19… A sage once remarked that the elderly slow down and stoop over so that they can see things as children once again, so that they can hold the hands of children who toddle along on inexperienced feet. That bug on the sidewalk, the snail under the cabbage leaf, the robin pulling the worm from the rain-moistened earth these are the things small children and their grandparents notice… Although we all made mistakes raising our children, the good news is that as godly grandparents, walking with the Lord, we can expect the Lord to use us. Because of our own immaturity when our children now parents were growing up, we may have disappointed them. But by keeping us alive to enjoy our grandchildren, the Lord is giving us a ministry to help fill in these gaps in our imperfect childrearing. We grandparents must first firmly retake the lead, if not of society as a whole, at least of our own families. This is not as drastic a step as it may seem, for the pendulum has begun to swing the other way, and maturity is coming into fashion again.” Great advice and great timing… Gotta go, my daughter called and the grandkids are coming over!