Friday, March 17, 2017

Intentionally Passing on Faith to Our Grandchildren

What does it look like to be intentional about passing on faith to our grandchildren? This is an important question for us to think about, and for us to find the answers, so we are able to be focused and intentional when it comes to passing on our faith. One way we do this, and the most important thing we do to do so, is when we have the great privilege and joy of pointing our children to Jesus. But what does this look like and what do we do after they believe in Jesus?

I believe it begins with equipping them to be people who are able to grow in their walk with Jesus – for themselves. Yes, there is much we can – and should – do to help them, but they need to learn to grow in their own walk with Jesus; they can not just depend upon us to give them what they need to grow. A great place to being is with helping them develop a love for God’s Word! How do you do this? Consider the following . . .
     1.      Pray. Yes, I know I say this a lot, but seriously, there is only so much we can do for our grandchildren; we have limits. But, God does not! He can do so much more than we can, and as much as we love our grandchildren, God loves them even more! So, pray. Pray they will grow in their walk with God! Pray they will grow in their love for God! Pray. Pray. Pray.
2.      Give your grandchildren a Bible of their own. If they are young, get a Bible with features for young children. There are some which explain the start of each book in the Bible, who some of the Bible people were, where things happened, what words mean, answers questions they may wonder as they read, Bibles with space to journal or draw what they are thinking as they read God’s Word (especially nice for older grandchildren and/or artistic grandchildren) and even one new Bible for children which recaps each Bible book with some thoughts on how to live it in their lives!
3.      Give your grandchildren a package of those narrow strip sticky notes. Tell them to use them as they are reading to mark any passage where they do not understand what they are reading or have questions about what they are reading. Then they will be able to find those places to have you or their parents explain and help them understand what God’s Word is saying.
4.      For your older grandchildren consider reading through passages of the Bible together – a specific book in Psalms or a passage such as 1 Corinthians 13 or John 17, etc. Then after you both read it, get together for cookies and cocoa, or coffee and talk about what you both read.
5.      For younger grandchildren consider taking a Bible person and read together about who the Bible person was, what they did, if they chose to love and follow God, or not and what you are able to learn from their life.
These are just a few ideas for how you are able to be intentional about passing on your faith to your grandchildren by helping them develop a love for reading God’s Word. This does matter! Please allow me to share with you a short account of how this is happening with my grandson, Caleb. He is five years old and a few months ago he made the choice to believe in Jesus (and yes, this grandma absolutely celebrated!)

This past weekend when he was at my house, he asked if I had a Bible he could read (he is just now learning to read). I happened to have a Bible I was planning to give to him – he was so happy when I gave it to him! Then he asked me where he could read about Caleb in the Bible. I turned to two passages and together we read about Caleb – he read all the words with five or fewer letters and I read the rest. When we got to the part where it said Caleb was a person who chose to follow God “wholeheartedly”, I said; “Caleb, this is what your Poppa and I want for you! We want you to be a boy, then a teen and then a grown man who chooses to follow God with all your heart!” He smiled at me and said; “I want to follow God with all my heart! I will follow God with all my heart!

Yes, I celebrated again! This is one very, very happy grandma!

This is what it means to pass on our faith in an intentional way. Sometimes it is planning things – like giving a grandchild a Bible, sticky notes and making a plan to read God’s Word together. Sometimes it is giving your grandchildren a vision for what their lives may look like if they choose to follow God, by sharing important messages and challenges from God’s Word. And, when we do, we are likely to have many opportunities to celebrate as our grandchildren become people who love and follow God!

No comments:

Post a Comment