What is more, a third grandson is now on the way. Soon, we will have three rambunctious little fellows, lovingly inserting themselves and their agendas into our lives. And we welcome this! For in the short span of less than two years, we have come to see just what a blessing it is to become grandparents.
In fact, we agree that we have only now begun to appreciate the significance of the old bumper sticker that says, “If I had known grandchildren were so much fun, I would have had them first!”
Our grandchildren are indeed a blessing to us. But my wife and I also agree that, in return, we hope to be a blessing to our grandchildren as well. For they benefit from us every bit as much as we do from them!
I recently came across some interesting research regarding the mutual impact and value that grandchildren and grandparents have upon and give to one another. It is based on interviews with grandchildren and grandparents; and it clearly indicates that children need their grandparents and vice-versa.
“The study shows that the bond between grandparents and grandchildren is second in emotional power and influence only to the relationship between parents and children. Grandparents affect the lives of their grandchildren, for good or ill, simply because they exist.
Unfortunately, a lot of grandparents ignore the fact, to the emotional deprivation of the young. Of the children studied, only five percent reported close, regular contact with at least one grandparent.
The vast majority see their grandparents only infrequently, not because they live too far away, but because the grandparents have chosen to remain emotionally distant.
These children appear to be hurt, angry, and very perceptive about their grandparents. One of them said, “I’m just a charm on grandma’s bracelet.”
Positive roles that grandparents play are caretaker, storyteller, family historian, mentor, wizard, confidant, negotiator between child and parent, and model for the child’s own old age.
When a child has a strong emotional tie to a grandparent, he enjoys a kind of immunity—he doesn’t have to perform for grandparents the way he must for his parents, peers and teacher.
The love of grandparents comes with no behavioral strings attached. The emotional conflicts that often occur naturally between children and parents do not exist between grandparents and grandchildren.”
In light of all this, there is one more thing upon which that my wife and I agree. Such findings remind us that we must be intentional in building strong relationships with our grandchildren. We plan, therefore, to do just that! And we trust the fruit of this effort will manifest itself in our relationship with each of our grandchildren, irrespective of how many of them with which we will eventually be blessed.
In his Second New Testament Letter to Timothy (chapter 1, verse 5), the Apostle Paul reminds his young protégé in the ministry that the faith that now lives in him first lived in his mother, and before that in his grandmother. He then challenges Timothy (in verse 6) to fan into flame that which is within him as well!
The greatest blessing my wife and I will ever have is to live to see the same faith in God that now lives in us, and in our own children, spring up in our grandchildren as well! Accordingly, we accept the God-given responsibility to help foster that.
And we pray that, having embraced such faith in God themselves, our children and grandchildren (and should the Lord tarry His coming, even our great-grandchildren and beyond) will also embrace that same responsibility to pass their faith along.
STATISTICS: https://bible.org/illustration/children-need-grandparents. Here, the original source cited is the September, 1981 edition of Youthletter Magazine. This particular publication is apparently now out of print; but it appears to have been a monthly 8-page newsletter originally published by Evangelical Ministries. Numerous articles dating from various back issues from this magazine are referenced online.