Last month I came across a New York Times article in which the author described her experience caring for a grandparent with Alzheimer’s. The author shared that although providing care was difficult, her parents raised her to value family. I enjoyed reading the author’s childhood memories of visits with grandparents, family dinners and family vacations. Because of the positive influence of godly parents and/or grandparents, some of us are blessed to have wonderful memories about family life dating back to early childhood. We still cherish the Christian values and lessons for life that were instilled within us as we spent time with those influential individuals.
As students of the Bible, we recognize that God designed the institution of marriage and family. In Ephesians 5 we read that marriage between one man and one woman should serve as a beautiful picture of God’s love for His bride, the church. If a married couple is blessed to have children, they should recognize that their home life is to provide an environment where children learn to live in community and care for and serve one another. Most importantly, we learn from reading Deuteronomy 6 that the home is a place where children are to be taught about God. It is where children should observe genuine models of faith, trust and mutual respect for others.
One of the greatest blessings parents will enjoy, and one of the greatest achievements they can attain, is to lead their children to accept Christ as Savior and grow in faith.
Too often, because of busy schedules and sometimes feelings of inadequacy or fear of failure, parents rely upon the local church to do what parents are commanded by God to do. Christian dads and moms are to lead the way in helping their children become Christ followers. Becoming a follower of Jesus is a priority decision because it impacts their entire life and also determines their future – including eternity.
Perhaps you are thinking, “What is the role of the church in relation to discipling our children?” Leaders within the local church are to come alongside parents to equip and empower them to be the disciple-makers of their children and youth. However, the primary responsibility for doing this lies within the home. Grandparents must assume this responsibility if their own children are not fulfilling this role as Christian parents. If not you, then who do you think is going to do this? It is too great a price to ignore this great and wonderful responsibility and just hope that someone else will give attention to the spiritual needs of your children or grandchildren.
Statistics indicate that more than 70 percent of youth never return to church after they leave home for college. According to Proverbs 22:6, this could be changed if they were discipled in the faith while at home and prepared to live boldly through Christ within an ever increasing secular culture that does not believe in or care about a biblical worldview.
“…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15