Monday, August 8, 2016

The "Role" of Grandma - Be the "Bridge"

One of the important, essential "roles" of grandparents is for them to be the "tellers" of the family history. This means we need to be the ones who pass on this history . . . the time when great-uncle Joe did something amazing or the time when great-great-great-great-great grandma journeyed to America. These family "stories" . . . these historical accounts, help give our grandchildren a "sense" of who they are and where they came from.

It is also essential, even more so, for us to be the ones who pass on the true historic accounts of how God has worked in our lives and the lives of our ancestors. Psalms 78 shows us clearly what happens when the next generation forgets Who God is and what He has done. We want our grandchildren to remember, so they will know, love and walk with God throughout their lives.

Joshua understood how important this was. In Joshua 4 we see where the entire Nation of Israel had just crossed the Jordan river, at the height of flood season, on dry land, because God parted the waters, much like He parted the Red Sea when their ancestors left Egypt. Joshua didn't want future generations to forget what God did, so he had a leader from each tribe, pick up and bring a large stone from the bottom of the Jordan River to the shore of the Promised Land. In Joshua 4:5-7 we see the reason for this . . .
"Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."
Joshua knew how essential it was for future generations to remember. He knew to help future generations remember, he had to give the responsibility to the current generation to pass on the history; to tell the true account to future generations.

How long did they have the responsibility to tell what God did? Look at the last word in verse seven . . . "forever". We grandparents have this responsibility for as long as we live. We do not get to "retire" from being grandparents. We do not get to "retire" from passing on the true history of Who God is and how He has worked in our lives.

Consider making your own, "stone memorial" to help your grandchildren remember Who God is and how He has worked in your family. You could do this by using actual stones - palm size. Write the date on one side and on the other draw a picture (stick figures are fine) and write a few words to show what God did - how He worked in your lives. Put them in a basket or container and place in your living room where your grandchildren will see them and ask what they mean. Add to them as God works in your lives . . . and ask your grandchildren and children to do the same. It will become a basket of blessing as you all are able to see God work in your lives!

Or you could do the same type of thing with a memory book . . . make a journal where you record what God has done and invite your family to add to the pages. Put it in a prominent place in your home, so when people ask what it is about, you are able to share how God has worked in your life and the lives of your family through the ages.

You could do both. The important thing is to do something. Claim your role, your responsibility and your great joy at being the person who records and passes on the history of how God worked and continues to work in your family! Do not let your grandchildren forget! You are a "bridge", of sort, from the past to the present so your grandchildren do not forget. Remember and share, forever!

This is why the Legacy Coalition exists - to help churches help grandparents know how to pass on a legacy of faith and to encourage and equip grandparents to do this as well. You'll learn more about the Legacy Coalition at this link.

So, what do you do to pass on the history of your family and the true historic accounts of how God has worked, and continues to do so, in your own life to your grandchildren? Do you see being a "bridge" from the past in your family and how God has worked as part of your "role" as grandma? Why, or why not? What do you consider to be the "role" of grandma?

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