Today I’m thrilled to have my friend Janet Thompson – who is a grandmother several times over – share with us today about ways we can spiritually nurture our grandchildren. (These tips would work with your own children too!) Janet, the author of a dozen books and Bible studies, has just released a new study in the New Hope Publishers line of Bible studies for women. “Face-to-Face with Lois and Eunice: Nurturing Faith in Your Family” helps women learn to pass their faith on to the next generation.
The only woman in the Bible referred to as a “grandmother” is Timothy’s grandmother, Lois. She and her daughter Eunice received accolades from the Apostle Paul on their rearing of his protégé and future pastor, young Timothy: “I [Paul] have been reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5, NIV).
He later adds: “And how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15, NIV).
As a grandmother of 11 grandchildren who all know about Jesus (and some know Jesus as their Savior), here’s what I’ve learned from Lois:
- Pray for, mentor, and nurture the faith of your adult children—the parents of your grandchildren.
- Give with a purpose. Choose gifts that introduce grandchildren to Jesus at an early age. Shop at Christian bookstores or online to find age-appropriate games, books, DVDs, CDs, and toys.
- Look for opportunities to talk to grandchildren about Jesus and His love for them.
- Be a role model that family members admire and respect.
- Assume an active role in your grandchildren’s lives, even if you live far apart. Stay current and don’t criticize the things that interest them. Learn their communication style and method—email, texting, Skype or FaceTime, cell phone, social networking, etc. Remain relatable and relational with each generation.
Lois and Eunice were intentional in raising Timothy in the faith. The world didn’t set standards for their home, God did. They knew God’s Word and taught it to Timothy. I’ve found songs are one effective means to help children (and their parents) learn Scripture. Most kids love to sing along to CDs in the car and soon Mommy and Daddy are learning the words too.
Parents are often so busy raising their children that they rely on the church to educate the kids spiritually. We grandparents are usually at a stage of life where we can help parents nurture faith in the home. If relationships are strained with adult children or you don’t live close, you can still pray for them and/or keep in touch in different ways.
My prayer is that my legacy to my grandchildren will be: “Grammie taught us about the Bible and Jesus, and she lived what she believed.”
Share with us what are you doing to leave a spiritual legacy with your family.