While there are Scripture verses pertaining to old age in Scripture that are often used for grandparents, this post will look at only those verses that directly suggest grandparenting. Some grandparents can be more in the middle-age range than in their senior years so the verses chosen apply to all grandparents.
Responsibility of Grandparents Toward Their Grandchildren:
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. (Deut. 4:9)
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. (Ps. 145:4)
Reward in Having Grandchildren:
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. (Prov. 17:6)
Role Grandparents can have in Spiritual Development of Grandchildren:
I am 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 Tim. 1:5)
Reach of Grandparents into Future Generations:
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation. (Ex. 34:6-7)
I have been young, and now I am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his descendants begging bread. (Ps. 37:25)
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children (Ps. 103:17)
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. (Prov. 13:22)
Repayment of Grandchildren to Grandparents:
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. (1 Tim. 5:4)
For more: Grandparents Day Ministry Resources
The U.S. sets aside the first Sunday after Labor Day to honor grandparents — Grandparent’s Day. I have very few memories of my own grandparents as they all passed on when I was very young but one thing I do remember is that they were people to be respected in a special way. And, though I didn’t directly benefit from their input into my life, I have been indirectly affected because of their influence on my parents . . . the legacy my grandparents passed on to my parents.
The legacy of grandparents can be for eternal good as seen in the example of Timothy whose mother and grandmother passed on their faith by rooting him in God’s Word (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14-17).
“But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children …” (Ps. 103:17)
This legacy can also have a negative impact as the effects of an unbelieving or hardened heart and a life of sin spills over in familial dysfunction for years to come.
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, … maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” (Ex. 34:6-7)
When you consider the potential influence of grandparents on children now and in their futures, we must ask what role the church should have.
- Is your church building up, equipping, and encouraging them to leave a positive legacy? (classes, special speakers, reading material, etc.)
- Is your church providing opportunity for the younger generation to learn from them? (giving them opportunity to share in the service, pulling on their wisdom through teaching and mentoring the younger generation, interviewing them, including their stories in newsletters or bulletin inserts, etc.)
- Is your church honoring them in a special way? (verbal recognition, small gifts, praying for them, making a display to recognize them, a special luncheon, having grandchildren make a card or craft to give to them, asking grandchildren to testify to how God has used their grandparents in their lives, etc.)
And, for those who are grandparents:
- Are you taking in nurture for your soul, growing in your walk with the Lord, so you have something of eternal worth to pass on?
- Are you willing to invest into the lives of the younger generation in strategic ways?
- Are you someone your children and grandchildren are pleased to honor, not just because a special day is set aside to celebrate grandparents, but because they are truly blessed through you?