Some time back, I received a Facebook notification that my daughter had updated her status. So, as many mothers do, I clicked on it to see what she was up to. Typically, in her feed, I find a Scripture that inspired her, a church announcement being circulated, snippets from her family life, or “memories” she is sharing.
This update was a little different. It was a sharing of her heart, and it included a photo – of my dad, who is now at home with the Lord.
Portrait of My Dad
That portrait of my dad was a priceless gift to me that morning. I still remember how the sight of it brought back a flood of memories – family vacations, the water skiing “incident,” the burrs in my hair “fiasco,” hiding dishes in the oven because friends were coming over, and the many images of him with one of his grandbabies… or great-grandbabies on his lap or in his arms.
Nearly paralyzed by a flood of sweet memories, I was quickly reminded of who my dad was and how he lived the life God gave to him. Among other things, I remembered his personal attributes (He was known for his trademark “wink” and could touch his tongue to his nose with no effort at all!) and his character (He was faithful, hard-working, and full of love – for God and for his family.). He never, ever met a stranger. His heart was huge, and his stories, legend!
It was all there, in that single portrait – direction and encouragement for those he left behind! Through his life, dad modeled for us how to love our spouse, parent with grace, and grandparent with wisdom. Likewise, he showed us all how to be a friend, show hospitality, and finish well.
Biblical Portrait of Grandparenting
Portraits, like the one of my dad, can be shared on social media, housed in family photo albums, or stored in the digital cloud. They can quite easily be accessed for sharing memories and receiving direction and encouragement.
But did you know portraits can even be found in the Bible? Scripture is full of portraits – there for the purpose of helping us remember, for direction in living life according to God’s perfect design, and for our encouragement. Just as that portrait of my dad held reminders of example, instruction, and wisdom in daily living for me, Bible portraits do the same for the children of God.
For example, just a few of the portraits we can find in the Bible are those of womanhood, marriage, friendship, church membership, and grandparenting.
Yes, grandparenting! Created and designed by God, in the pages of His Word the role is clearly defined. Example, instruction, and wisdom in grandparenting can be found in the portrait He so lovingly painted for us.
Gleanings from the Portrait
See below just a few of the paint strokes found in the biblical portrait of grandparenting.
- The children of Israel (Exodus 12:26-27)
- Lois (2 Timothy 1:5)
- Paul (Philippians 1:25-26)
- Disciple future generations (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1)
- Leave an inheritance (Proverbs 13:22)
- Speak life-giving words to adult children and grandchildren (Ephesians 4:29)
- Pray (Lamentations 2:19)
- Teach and tell all generations the mighty works of God (Psalm 78:5-6)
- Live in obedience to God’s commands (Deuteronomy 12:28)
- Engage in intentional soul care (Deuteronomy 4:9)
- We can reach generations yet unborn (Psalm 78:5-6)
- The Lord is gracious and merciful (Psalm 145:4-12)
- Everything we need to carry out what God has commanded is provided for us in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
These passages are merely a few strokes of the entire portrait. So much can be gleaned if we will simply take time to gaze – not on the portrait being painted for us by culture, but the one God painted for us in His Word.
Gaze upon the portrait. Find example, instruction, wisdom, and encouragement for grandparenting provided by the Creator and Designer of all.
Biblical Portrait of Grandparenthood highlights specific Scriptures that reveal God’s unique design for the role of a grandparent. Through a series of penetrating questions designed for self-reflection, discover how well you are fulfilling His plan. Also learn practical ways you can influence and impact the lives of your grandchildren through your attitudes, words, and actions.
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