Grandparents, are you approaching your role in the lives of your grandchildren with intentionality? According to Josh Mulvihill we often underestimate the influence we have in our grandchildren’s faith journey.
“There’s not a lot of intentionality going on. In fact, when I interviewed grandparents across the country, one of the things that they said is, ‘I haven’t really even given this a lot of thought until you called.’ One grandparent said to me, ‘I’m just winging it day by day.’”
“Primarily, culture says to grandparents that you’re a playmate, you’re a companion, you’re to primarily have fun with your grandchildren. But don’t interfere with what your adult children are doing and if you do, you may pay that price by losing some privileges of some sort.”
Josh explains how these messages negatively affect the influence we have on our family as a whole.
“So many grandparents have then put themselves at the periphery as it comes to family life, or faith transmission to the next generation. Unfortunately, our churches, our homes and our families have in some ways paid the price for having one less significant, mature godly voice in their life.”
“We use the terminology the ‘social contract,’ which basically says you should not interfere with your family and you should live a life of indulgence for yourself. That’s what a lot of Christian grandparents are doing; they will invest some at certain times and at various degrees, but for the most part it’s a pretty limited impact.”
What the culture teaches about grandparenting is very different from what the Bible teaches us. Josh encourages us to take the Biblical approach to increase our influence and have a better understanding of our role as grandparents.
“My research shows that about 3/4’s of Christian grandparents did not have a good grasp on what the Bible said their role. There is a lot of real confusion and they looked more like culture than they did like Christ in their interactions.”
“The Bible is very clear on what a grandparent’s role is and the fact that a grandparent has a very significant role. I like to say that God created grandparents; it’s His design so therefore He gets to define it. And if God created it, everything God creates has a purpose and we better figure out what that is.”
Josh Mulvihill is the Executive Director of Church and Family Ministry at Renewanation, which trains children to develop a biblical worldview. Josh has served as a pastor for nearly 20 years, is a founding member of the Legacy Coalition and Roots Kids Worship, and has a PhD from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books including Biblical Grandparenting: Exploring God's Design, Culture's Messages, and Disciple-Making Methods to Pass Faith to Future GenerationsGrandparenting God's way