Do you remember the day you held your first grandchild in your arms? What dreams and aspirations did you have for that child? Like most parents, grandparents often have grand aspirations for what this child could be. Will he or she be a great athlete? Will he be a world leader one day? Will she be a doctor, a lawyer, a famous author or a celebrity? Will he become the new CEO of the family business?
Even if you do no not give much attention to the kind of career path they may choose, I suspect most of us do want our grandchildren to have all the advantages they need in life to succeed. But what does it mean to ‘succeed’? Are we thinking about success from a vertical perspective or a worldly one?
Our priorities in life are mostly derived from our view of success. What we believe about success will then shape the ‘advantages’ we desire for them. Tony Evans once declared, “Too many parents put more effort into their kids making the team than gaining the Kingdom.” I’d say that rings true for many grandparents too. Anybody need to join me in raising a guilty hand?
So, let’s change that!
Truthfully, there is no greater advantage in life than our faith in Christ—if it’s the real deal. True faith revealed by a life transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest advantage we can bring to the table to help shape a young life for all eternity. We do not give them faith—God does that. But we do give them the advantage of ourfaith in Christ as we demonstrate that Christ is our greatest treasure. When we do that, God will use us to help form their faith as well. If we do not give validity to the joy and power of faith in Christ, then we will likely give them a reason to think that such faith is not real or relevant to life—something not to be desired.
Is your faith in Christ merely a hobby that you dabble in on weekends, or is it your life? I heard someone say recently that we need to be life-ready adults if we are going to raise life-ready kids, including our grandkids. It is easy to become sidetracked by performance-oriented activities and miss the more important heart and character matters that lead to maturity in Christ.
The truth is that life is hard and often filled with trouble. As grandparents we do our grandkids no good service by trying to shield them from the hard stuff of life. Our faith is that great advantage that believes Jesus when he said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Our faith is an advantage because we know who wins, and we know He has overcome all the trouble that is reality in this world. When we understand Jesus’ words, we will not be bowled over or in despair when trouble happens… and there is no shortage of trouble in this life, is there? Our faith in a Sovereign and Victorious Lord is the great advantage because it is the source of peace that only Jesus can give.
Here are four ways to give this advantage to your grandchildren:
- Pray for them diligently and daily.
- Share your faith story
- Share the Gospel story
- Keep your own soul diligently by making sure your walk and your talk line up.
Is your faith an advantage that your grandchildren will notice, or is it just another one of many menu options we can pick and choose in life? Faith is no advantage if it has no relevance to all of life. The world offers no answers for the bad things that happen and the troubles that plague us, but Christ does. “Now, as always Christ will be exalted in my body,” Paul declared. “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:20-21). Now that indeed is a great advantage I want my grandchildren to have as well. Don’t you?
GRANDPAUSE: The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. –George Muller