Family By The Book
A parenting blog
It’s funny what being seventy years old does to a person.
You pay special attention to things that previously never crossed your mind. And you forget about lots of stuff that used to be very important to you. I’ve come to the conclusion that God planned for that to happen.
Even Scriptures contains truths that, while always there, somehow stayed concealed… until we’re ready to deal with them with a bit more objectivity than we had when we were younger.
And so, it came to pass, that as I was reading in the book of Proverbs, chapter thirteen and from the Living Bible paraphrase, this caught my attention: “When a good man dies, he leaves an inheritance to his grand-children;” Since I think of myself as a fairly good man (with gobs of help from all three members of the Trinity!) and since at seventy years of age, you might say that I’ve been back inside for quite a while since the last recess of the day, it seemed good to ponder this verse.
For years the desire to leave behind something of great value to my two sons has been paramount in my thinking, praying and planning. Having spent more than forty-five years in the ministry, the likelihood of leaving anything financially extravagant is about as likely as me being able to understand Pokemon before I die. So I’ve looked at other things of value to leave behind. Those would include: a good name, a history of obedience to God’s will for my life, the example of the growing love I’ve had for their mother for almost forty-two years and a model of never taking yourself so seriously that you can’t laugh…even at yourself.
But now I’ve got eight grandchildren to think about! What do I leave behind for them? Both the Lord and Toys R’ Us know that they don’t need a lot more toys. And their young expectations of Grandma and Grandpa aren’t all that complicated…just be willing to hang out with them, love them and occasionally cut them a bit more slack than their parents would. Yet there has to be more that God wants to see move from my life into theirs…there just has to be.
So here’s my ‘grandkid’ plan for this week and for all the weeks that follow until such a time that I’m no longer a player here on earth. I will love them so completely that even across the state, they can lie in their beds at night and feel my love. I will diligently look for their strengths and promote those as only totally objective grandparents can do! And I will take note of their weaknesses and struggles and come alongside them in prayer and counsel to see each of those minimized, for God’s sake and theirs.
This kind of spiritual investment was made in the lives of my sons and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be as concerned about this next generation of Waltermans! Here’s to successful parenting and grandparenting.