Grandparenting: A Portrait from the Bible

Today, I received a notification that my daughter had updated her Facebook status. So of course, I clicked on it to see what she was up to. Normally, I find a Scripture that inspired her, a church announcement being circulated, snippets from their family life, or “memories.” This update was a little different. It was a sharing of her heart, and it included a photo – of my dad, who went home to be with the Lord six years ago.

That portrait of my dad was a priceless gift to me this morning. Seeing 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.

As the memories swept over me, each one was a precious reminder of who my dad was and how he lived the life gifted to him. I was quickly reminded of his personal attributes (He was known for his trademark “wink” and could touch his tongue to his nose effortlessly!) 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! Through his life, dad modeled for us how to love our spouse, parent, grandparent, be a friend, show hospitality, and so much more.

Biblical Portrait of Grandparenthood

Portraits can be shared on social media, housed in family photo albums, or even found in the Bible.

The Bible is full of portraits for doing life according to God’s design. Just as that portrait of my dad held reminders of instruction, example, and wisdom in living for me, Bible portraits share the same with each of God’s children.

Just a few of the portraits we can find in the Bible are those of womanhood, marriage, friendship, church membership, and grandparenthood.

Yes, grandparenthood! God created it, and He designed it. It was His idea, and in the Bible, He clearly defines it for us.

Instruction, example, and wisdom in grandparenting can be found in the portrait.

Gleanings from the Portrait

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.

Proverbs 13:22

[T]hat you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.

Deuteronomy 6:2

The Biblical Portrait of Grandparenthood instructs a grandparent concerning their role.

[W]ith all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:2-3

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—

Deuteronomy 4:9

In the portrait we learn how a godly grandparent is to conduct themselves. And we also see how God wants to use us in the lives of our grandchildren.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 6:7

And So Much More

These verses give us just a glimpse of the portrait. There is so much more if we will simply take time to gaze upon it. Not on the portrait being painted for us by culture, but the one God gives us in Scripture.

Grandparents are searching. We want to do the job well – for the good of our grandchildren and the glory of God. But it can be difficult – sorting through the mixed messages, understanding the role, making wise decisions.

Where better to learn about the role as God designed it than in His Word?

It is for this reason that I have put together a new resource for grandparents. Biblical Portrait of Grandparenthood contains two powerful sections. The first, Examining Our Role in Light of Scripture, presents readers with a series of Scripture passages — each one on the topic of biblical grandparenting. Included with each Scripture passage is list of questions to help the grandparent reflect on their role and their effectiveness. There are also pages for journaling thoughts and reflections as one examines the portrait. The second section, Grandparenting with Wisdom, shares practical ways for grandparents to influence and impact the lives of their grandchildren. This section looks specifically at how our attitudes, words, and actions affect our grandparenting.

Biblical Portrait of Grandparenthood is now available through Amazon.

I invite you to gaze upon the portrait. Direction and encouragement for grandparenting are all right there – in the Biblical Portrait given to us by the Creator and Designer of all.

12 comments on “Grandparenting: A Portrait from the Bible

  1. I’m not yet a grandparent, but I was blessed with grandparents who left a legacy of faithfulness to Christ. The impact they had on my life has trickled down to my own children. An excellent post, Deborah!

    • I love hearing about the impact faithful grandparents have had. What an encouragement to all of us! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and for sharing with us.

  2. I never grew up with grandparents around me, but I understand a little of this because my mom has been one for years now. And I can imagine she must have wondered how to cope as a grandma without interfering so much. I’m happy about how she has defined that role and worked hard at being a Godly grandparent.

    • It can be so difficult to break the cycle if we had poor examples leading the way, and equally difficult to pioneer a new path if we had no example at all. Praise God for your mom and her willingness to put a post in the ground for her family! May she continue to bless her children and grandchildren.

  3. I became a grandparent for the first time one year ago and have LOVED it! I’m three hours away but I’ve been able to spend many, many hours with my granddaughter nonetheless. And now I found out two weeks ago that my daughter is expecting again! I definitely want to do grandparenting well so thanks for your encouragement to follow God in it.

    • Congratulations, Lisa! Learning that you are going to be a grandparent NEVER gets old, no matter how many times!!!!! And I know, you are going to do it well!

  4. I’ll have to check your book out, Deborah! I’m new to being a grandmother. My first grandchild–a boy–was born last October. He’s 13 hours away, though. So it’s been challenging to only see him in FaceTime or Instagram photos, etc. And yes, there is much that we can glean from Scripture about grandparenting! Great thoughts and I’ll be pinning!

    • Welcome to the world of grandparenting! Truly, there is nothing like it. We have 11 grandchildren and the first 5 were long-distance!! I feel your pain!

  5. Deborah, I love your thoughts on grandparenting in a Godly way. My grandkids are the light of my life. so much fun and full of life. Thank you for your thoughts on this very precious topic.

    And my dad never met a stranger, either!

    • Laurie, I loved hanging out with my Dad – never knew who I might meet or what conversation I might get to enjoy! Yes, grandchildren are the BEST ????.

  6. Deborah,
    Since I’m nearing the age of grandparenting I thought that post was a great reminder of the power of grandparenting. I am a Christian because of my grandparents’ faith and how they took me to church camp. They were a beautiful portrait of faith.
    Praying you have a blessed day!
    ~Sherry Stahl

    • Thank you for sharing, Sherry. What a beautiful testament to your grandparents and to God’s design! Blessings on this beautiful Thursday!

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