(In truth, I joked with the cashier at the register by saying, “I would appreciate any discounts you might have going.” And before I could even elaborate, she replied, “Okay, I can give you the Senior Adult discount!” I did my best to hide my dismay at how obvious my age must now be!)
The second significant event that has unfolded in my life is the birth of my first grandchild. William David Whisman, Jr., a.k.a. little “Will”, officially made his debut on November 9, 2016. And while I had done my best to prepare for this special day, I now know that nothing in the world could have prepared me for the joy that was to be mine as I held him in my arms.
It has been said that it is the right and privilege of every grandparent to spoil his or her grandchild rotten. Perhaps this is so. For my part, I certainly intend to do a little spoiling of my new grandson!
And yet, I would hope that the right and privilege of a grandparent is much more than this. I would hope that it is also to help parents instill values within a grandchild.
In her book on the Ten Commandments given to God's people at Mt. Sinai, Dr. Laura Schlesinger relates the following anecdote:
I once read about a rabbi sitting next to an atheist on an airplane. Every few minutes, one of the rabbi’s children or grandchildren would inquire about his needs for food, drink, or comfort. The atheist commented, “The respect your children and grandchildren show you is wonderful. Mine don’t show me that respect.”
The rabbi responded, “Think about it. To my children and grandchildren, I am one step closer in a chain of tradition to the time when God spoke to the whole Jewish people on Mount Sinai. To your children and grandchildren, you are one step closer to being an ape.”
There are many things I hope to be able to do for my grandson, Will. But chief among them is to help him appreciate just exactly who he is: a human being created in the image of Almighty God and redeemed from his fallen state of sinfulness by the redemptive work of God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ, on an old rugged cross.
If I manage to do that, I will have succeeded in my single greatest God-given role as a grandparent. I pray that I will be successful – for my sake, yes, but far more so for the sake of little Will.
SOURCE: Laura Schlessinger, The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Laws in Everyday Life (New York: Harper Collins, 1998), p. 133