grandparents: A Source of wisdom and life experience for the family

Grandparents bring unique wisdom and life experience into the family unit. You will see how your family can greatly benefit through their presence in your life and home.

Nowadays, you may see the vast differences in culture, methods of doing things, and attitudes between the younger generation and the older generation. This is only logical and shows the natural progression within the age differences themselves.

You may see the older generation of folk as being "old foggies", who don't or can't understand your ways and thoughts of doing things in the world. Yes, it is true that they do think and behave differently, but consider the fact that they have been around the block a few years longer than you have. They have experienced some things that you may be going through right now or within your own household, and could possibly hold the key to helping you or other family members through some of the most difficult family issues of our day.

grandparents can provide generous amounts of love, time, and attention 

Your parents (or your spouse's parents) may not have been able to give you the love, time, and attention you would expect to get while growing up due to various known or unknown reasons, such as: from time constraints working a job, managing a home, or various other adult responsibilities.

For instance: there were seven people in my family's household; my mother was a full-time wife and mom of five children, who later worked as a full-time school bus driver; my father was a preacher and yet he also worked a full-time job as a laborer in a factory lifting large bails of paper and plastic rolls onto a truck for many hours in the day. When they each came home at night there was not much time or attention for us kids. There was supper to get on the table, homework to do, baths to take, devotions and prayers to say, then off to bed we went. Yes, we did get the love and attention throughout the day, but not much personal time was allotted to each of us as we wanted or expected to receive. At the time we did not understand it much, until we were much older.

Perhaps you and your family are in that boat as well. If your parents are available, seek them out and ask them to help provide that much-needed love, time, and attention for your children. Grandparents seem to have more patience and understanding. Could it be that they also want to give more and improve their relationship to you and the rest of the family from the second time around?

As my daughter grew up from a child to an adult, her father and I also had some of these same issues and time constraints while raising her. As it so often goes; life happens, and we just have to continue to grow and build around it. Although she did receive much love, time, and attention from me and her dad, we were tremendously thankful and so grateful to have our parents step in to help us in the places where we were lacking the most. Somehow, grandparents know just what to say and do to make things better.

grandparents can sometimes "see into the future"

It's so uncanny to me how my parents could warn me, and my daughter, of possible outcomes in life if I weren't being aware or careful enough. Sure enough, those situations, circumstances, and/or events would happen just as they said they would! How on earth did they do that? I knew they weren't fortune tellers, but somehow, they knew exactly what would befall me if I did the opposite of what they warned me about.

It is because grandparents have tons of wisdom, knowledge, and foresight through their many years of living, and just by experiencing all of life's little ups and downs throughout their earlier years of childhood, adolescence, adult, and senior years. It's not that they may have experienced or lived through extremely foreign things throughout their lives, such as wars, pestilence, famines, depressions and recessions (although some have done so), it's also because they see the same repeats of things going on in the world around us; very similar to those situations/events which may have happened for them many years prior.

So, if you find that your parents are overly concerned or worried about you or their grandchildren, and all the different kinds of family/school/church/work issues that's surrounding them, it's because they have lived through some of those very same issues of life and don't want to see you or their grandchildren suffer from them either. It's truly an act of love and concern for your/their health, welfare, and spiritual lives. Yes, grandparents can see things coming, good or bad, ahead of time in many cases and situations. So it would be wise to listen to what they have to say.

Look upon this kind of act and behavior as a wonderful gift of discernment, in that God is looking out and watching over your family in many ways: one of which is through having godly grandparents in the home and by utilizing their insight, knowledge, and wisdom as a great help to guide and influence your home in the ways of righteousness and truth. Here are a few Scripture passages that describe this beautiful gift of discernment and how it benefits and blesses the Christian believer:

  • Hebrews 5:14 tells us, "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
  • 1 John 4:1 warns, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
  • Philippians 1:9-10 says, "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement; and that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ." 
  • Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even unto the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
  • 1 Kings 3:9 says, "Give therefore thy servant and understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people?"
  • John 7:24 tells us, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement."
  • Romans 12:2 reminds us, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." And lastly,
  • Colossians 2:8 warns, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

grandparents bring needful help and resources into the family

I can say personally that this reigns true for many families, as well as my own. While we worked, my parents and his parents helped my husband and I out nearly every summer as our daughter had the privilege of participating in various sports activities, Christian camp, church and family activities. She was busy all throughout the summer and our parents helped us out so much during that time. Those were amazing years!

Possibly you will find the same kind of help from grandparents in your family as well. They can provide the time to help with homework, housework, garden work, sports activities, babysitting help, and so on. Not only do they help out but they are also able to spend precious quality time with their grandchildren in the process.

Grandparents bring much to the table in the way of helpful resources, and in perhaps showing the younger generations how things were made, implemented; and possibly introducing a better or simpler way of living and of perceiving problems and situations  on the home front. 

I have found at times that our grandparents provide clearer solutions to some of those problems and circumstances which we younger folk think as something complex or  perhaps way over our heads! God has given them years of wisdom in many things. Our society seems to want to ignore them and push them aside, thinking they have nothing to contribute anymore. This is false and selfish thinking from our world's system, and should be eradicated from the minds of Christian people. We are to build each other up in the faith, including those of our aging populations.

Finally, let us never forget our dear grandparents. God has placed them in our lives for His purpose and His good pleasure. They bring so much to our lives that we should cherish them always. Allow your children to get to know them, to learn of their wisdom, strength, and great knowledge of life as they have lived it.

Help them to know they are still loved, wanted, and needed, even in their elder years. Continue to learn from them, and to help them throughout the remaining years of their lives; knowing that God will surely bless your entire family from implementing and honoring the wisdom, knowledge, and influence of those who are seasoned within their faith and continued walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless our grandparents!

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