Our society seems to be slowly moving away from the "use it up" and "throw it away" lifestyle. Now we recycle, reuse and resell. But, one of our greatest resources is still being tossed aside at one of its highest points of usefulness....our grandparents.
The comforting picture of Grandmother baking cookies while little Suzy licks the spoon, or Granddaddy walking along the road with Johnny talking about clouds, rocks and bugs, doesn't have a place in today's world. It has been replaced by a few long distance phone calls and one or two yearly visits. What kind of relationship can this possibly foster with a young child?
Training a child is an extremely difficult job. David tells us in Psalms 127 that "children are a gift of the Lord" and as Christian parents we are expected to return that gift back to Him. What a tall order for two young, inexperienced parents! But, God did not place them here alone. He gave them older, loving, experienced Christians to be their guides. They have already traveled the road that is ahead. Proverbs 13:14 says that the "teaching of the wise is a fountain of life." What wisdom is wasted by not involving our children's grandparents in their training.
Nowadays, we may consult a book on child rearing written by a person who may or may not be a Christian and
who may not even have children. How can reading a chapter on colic compare to listening to your mother's comforting voice tell you of her experience or how Aunt Jane handled it with your cousin?
Grandparents are commanded by God to be involved in the grandchildren's spiritual training. In Deut. 4:9, we are told to "keep your soul diligent, lest you forget what your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart, but make them known to your children and their children." By the time our children are grown, we probably have 20 to 30 years of parenting experience. What a waste to put it behind us, just as our children are struggling; to overcome the same kinds of problems with their kids.
Mobility is the main culprit in this problem. There are no longer many multi-generational families living side by side and depending on each other. Our children are not the only ones suffering, but the nursing homes, with waiting lists several months long, show that our older parents aren't being taken care of as the Lord intended either. Close family units benefit each member and help to produce a continuing line of spiritual and God-fearing Christians.
"Grandchildren are the crown of the aged" (Proverbs 17:6).