Do you ever imagine your grandchildren seeing you as the greatest source of blessing and joy in their lives? I’m not talking about fantasizing about being your grandchildren’s favorite people. I know there are some grandparents who vicariously seek such notoriety from their kids and grandkids through excessive means. They love to brag about their efforts to influence certain grandchildren to adore them.
I know a couple (I’ll call them Herb and Janet) that have dedicated much of their energy to giving particular attention to one granddaughter (I’ll call her Jessie) because she is beautiful and very gifted. They love to talk about Jessie as their shining star in the family. In fact, they have showered her with expensive gifts and effusively pampered her in an attempt to influence her toward their goals for her, including the college she will attend. Of course, as they will tell you, it is all being done in her best interest.
Perhaps they do desire the best for her, at least as they perceive what is best. But, one has to wonder if their perception of what is best actually lines up with what God might say about it? I only hope Jessie has the wisdom to know the difference and will choose to pursue God’s plan for her life.
Whether as parents or grandparents, most of us want what is best for our children and grandchildren. Knowing that God already has the best possible plan already planned for those who are in Christ, the Christian Grandparenting Network actively works to challenge grandparents (and parents) to be spiritual influencers and disciple-makers who point the next generations to Christ and His purposes for them. It is in Christ, as God’s workmanship, they will discover that God not only knows what is best but desires to work out what is best for them because of His great love for them.
One of the tools we believe God wants to use to reinforce this truth that leads to fulfilling delight and satisfaction in this life is the spoken blessing. For specific information about the spoken blessing I urge you to download our free copy of Creating a Legacy of Blessing.
Because the spoken blessing affirms God’s agenda for our grandchildren’s lives, not ours, it is a powerful tool to help our grandkids stand out in life, not through fame or fortune, but through God’s plan to build godly character and purpose in them. And by the way, the spoken blessing is not reserved for the exceptionally gifted or that strikingly beautiful grandchild. It is for everyone.
So, let me summarize the purpose of speaking blessing with three marks of a life that truly blesses our grandchildren:
- Communicate to your grandkids who they are and who they are NOT: This requires careful patience and selfless love to help them understand that their value is rooted in their being made in the image of God, not how they meet your expectations. Your life journey can also serve as a powerful example to them of this truth. Don’t expect them to be someone else—someone you want to make in your image. They are not you or anyone else. God uniquely made each who they are for His glory, not yours.
- Instill a confident belief in God’s purpose for their life that is both sufficient and fully satisfying: It is because of faith in the transforming power of the Gospel that they are made alive in Christ through God’s grace, and by which they will understand how His purpose for them is perfect and always best. His divine power will fully equip them with everything they need to fulfill that purpose. Your part is to help them develop a wholehearted desire to follow Christ and to discover the ultimate delight and satisfaction that comes from living in that purpose.
- Express through words and actions that you are on their side and equally confident that God’s plan is always best: Let them know you are praying for God’s best, and that you will never be deterred from your belief in them to succeed in what God has for them. They need to know you will be standing with them in whatever way possible, and that even when they stumble, you will be there to help them get back up and finish together.
Grandparenting is not about the accumulation of bragging rights for those favorite grandchildren who are high achievers or popular. It is about surrendering our agenda to God’s and making much of Christ in life and in death so another generation will want to walk in the truth according to God’s purpose for them. The fruit of that surrender is watching God work in another generation to seek and embrace God’s best… not our best. That is something worth being noted for, don’t you think?
God does not do anything with us, only through us. -Oswald Chambers