Sunday, December 27, 2015

Our Top Five Reasons for Being There

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I have friends who were telling me about how they only let their grandchildren spend time at their homes a couple times a month. They said they thought it was "wise" to set "limits", so their own children did not take advantage of them when it came to taking care of their grandchildren. They said this "freed them up" to be able to enjoy their retirement.

I love my friends, but think they have completely missed what wisdom is when it comes to their grandchildren. I am happy to spend time with my grandchildren as often as possible. My grandsons have at least one sleepover at my house each week and typically on Wednesdays I pick them up from school and spend the rest of the day with them. (I take them to my church, where they participate in the mid-week ministry for children before they go home.)

So, why do I believe it is real wisdom to spend as much time with my grandchildren as I can? Consider the following . . .
  • In Deuteronomy 6 God tells us to pass our faith on to our children's children. My husband and I firmly believe God wants us to be engaged and focused on passing on our faith. (There are more than 600 references in the Bible to this very thing.) 
  • We believe we are investing our time in what matters the most now, while our grandsons are young, so as they grow up, we will have the place, the relationship with them we need to pass on our faith.
  • We believe it matters what we do now. We are not getting any younger; there are no guarantees we'll be around tomorrow, next month, next year or in five years. While none of us have any guarantees about how long we are on this earth, as we get older, we know our time on earth is getting shorter. Why would we want to spend whatever amount of time we have left doing things which do not really matter? We want our grandchildren to grow up to be teens and then young men and then adults who know, love and walk with God. Traveling, relaxing, hanging out with others who have already raised their own children - while there is nothing wrong with these things - are not things which really matter.
  • My husband and I want our son and daughter-in-law to know they can depend on us. When they need help or someone to stay with the boys, we want them to know they can turn to us. There isn't anyone else they can turn to who loves the boys more (my daughter-in-law's parents/family live in other states). They should know they can depend on us. If we can not be there for them, who can we be there for?
  • We know how very blessed we are to be able to spend time with our grandsons. Many grandparents do not live near their grandchildren. We do. This is a blessing from God; one which we are most thankful for, one we do not take for granted and one which we will not squander. 
There are more reasons, but these are the Top Five reasons we have for being there, for making the choice to focus on spending time with our grandsons, for being intentional about passing on our faith and for recognizing we are oh, so blessed to be able to do these things.

I do not believe it is "wise" to keep our grandchildren at, "arms length". What else could I possibly do with my time which is more important?

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