I believe it begins with equipping them to be people who are able to grow in their walk with Jesus – for themselves, by having a love for God's Word. 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 begin is with helping them develop a love for God’s Word! How do you do this? Consider the following . . .
- Pray. Yes, I know I say this a lot, but seriously, there is only so much we are able to do for our grandchildren; we have limits. But, God does not! He is able to do so much more than we are, 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.
- Give your grandchildren a Bible of their own. Look for Bibles with features for the age/stage where your grandchildren are. For example, there are some Bibles which provide an overview for each book in the Bible, explain who some of the Bible people were, where things happened, what words mean, answer questions your grandchildren 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), study Bibles and even one new Bible for children which recaps each Bible book with some thoughts on how to live what they learned in their lives!
- 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 to them.
- 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.
- 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.
This past weekend, when he was at my house, he asked if I had a Bible he could read (he has learned 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. When we reached 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 eventually 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 one of the ways we show intentional love to our grandchildren, by helping them develop a love of their own for God's Word! Sometimes we do this by specifically planning things – like giving a grandchild a Bible, sticky notes and making a plan to read God’s Word together. Sometimes it happens when we share 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!
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