There is no question that we are in the end times and things are getting harder and harder for kids these days. If one generation finds it difficult, the next generation will face even more social problems. Children today are exposed to the effects of a global pandemic, more readily available drugs, racial and political tensions, discussions of gender and sex in classrooms from kindergarten onwards, and transgender and gay audiences on television. Thought exposures (including those directed at children) must be addressed. channel), brands that promote anti-Christian lifestyles, easy access to porn, and increased homelessness and violence. And that’s in addition to dealing with the daily pressures that anxiety and depression-inducing enemies put on children.
This sea is difficult enough for our children and grandchildren to navigate as they walk with the Lord. But what can grandparents do when their children do not share the Christian faith and, as a result, their grandchildren lose hope in the gospel?
How did your child get to where they are now?
You need to know how your children are now unbelievers because you didn’t bring them to faith in Christ when they were young, or you left them. From conversations with them, siblings, or other family members, we can learn what they believe and why. Is there a way I can serve them if I find a wound? Have you ever made them feel uncomfortable with God or the church? Was it your own hypocrisy in raising them that kept them away? Confess your sins to God and your children and ask for forgiveness.
Second, how do they feel about your talking about God in front of their children? Doing so will give you a basis for how you can converse with your grandchildren.
It’s easy to speak out about their faith because you know what’s at stake. But stay humble and ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words to speak. As believers, we all too often come across as steamrollers, so we need to leave room for consideration of how God wants to work in the lives of these people.
What is “universality” that you can always talk about?
I have an atheist brother and yet we can agree on many things (although she has yet to realize that all this has to do with God). Most people can agree on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity/faithfulness, and self-control (fruits of the Spirit). I would also like to add honesty and fairness to that list. These are always topics we talk about with our grandchildren, and we can start weaving Jesus, who created all these good things, into the conversation.
Know Your Parent’s Boundaries
In families I know, grandparents can talk about God as much as they want, but a line is drawn between them and their parents when it comes to Christmas and Easter. They argue that Santa and the Easter Bunny are de facto worshiped, perhaps because it drowns out the sanctity of the holiday. But there is still a way to tell about the man named Nicholas, who Santa gave generously to the poor and sick (he loved children as much as Jesus did) and became Saint Nicholas, who is honored annually for his care and concern. . If the parents are willing, you can invite the family to the church nativity story (created by the children) or an Easter egg hunt (if you have one). Our church is on a Christ-centered hunt to promote the gospel and bring in unbelievers.
Volunteer babysitting and outings whenever possible
The more time I spend with my grandchildren, the more opportunities I have to talk about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, especially about the issues my children are having. Talk about what’s going on in their lives and say, “When I deal with things like that, I remember God said/did X.” Let’s share the Bible of hope that backs it up. Children and teens are used to seeing self-centered, “positive” messages, so sharing a Bible of hope should not seem strange to them. Isaiah 41:10 is my favorite!
If you have young children, you can purchase Christian games and Sunday school materials to keep at home and participate with them. My granddaughter loves a board game called “Noah’s Animal Rescue” that focuses on working together to achieve her goals.
Teens have so much to deal with and spend so much time at work and with friends. However, show your support by keeping in touch with them and asking if you can eat together. If they make time for a free dinner, you will have the opportunity to share your truth. They may not appreciate it now, but in the future they will cherish this positive, loving time spent with you and how you were like Jesus to them.
If your children depended on you to care for them for a long period of time (perhaps because of your work schedule), you’ve reduced their stress significantly. You have shown them so much goodwill and love for their children that they are more than willing to invite your grandchildren to church, vacation Bible school, youth groups, or other special church events. may be tolerant.
Make sure your gait matches your story
say as much good news about Jesus Christ, but if your grandchildren don’t see you practicing their faith, you might as well keep quiet. On the other hand, they are more likely to listen to what you share if they see you acting on your beliefs. Teenagers are more likely to imbibe some of that faith themselves, even if they don’t know it’s happening. I’ve heard it said, “You may be the only Jesus that anyone will ever meet.” If that is the case with your grandchildren, you have a great responsibility. “For you do not speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaks through you.” Matthew 10:20.
Let them see you reading the Bible and Christian books, listening to Christian music, donating to the poor, and helping the sick. Tell them why you are doing this. In doing so, your grandchildren will be surrounded by the truths of the gospel, and you will show them how the gospel can transform every life it touches.
Invite other families to join your church to pray and influence
Perhaps your teenage grandchild attends high school with one of the children in your youth group. Can the student invite your grandchildren to church events? If you know someone, your grandchildren may be more likely to go too. And by all means invite this family to pray for your grandchildren and see how their home becomes another sanctuary and a witness when your grandchildren play.
Don’t let your enemies get in the way of Christ
It’s hard work to influence your children and grandchildren when there is opposition. But remember that it’s not you they’re rejecting. In her article, “How to Share the Gospel with Your Grandchildren When Their Parents Are Nonbelievers,” she states: Annie Yorty “Your unbelieving children, or even your grandchildren, may make fun of you or ridicule your faith. Embrace the humility of Christ (Philippians 2:5) instead of getting pissed off. Forgive and love instead of defending or arguing. God may use your meekness to hurt their consciences. “
Most importantly, pray for and with your grandchildren
Never stop praying! Today may be the day your grandchildren make a decision for Christ, or their hearts are slowly changing. In any case, God has put this child into your family for a reason, and He is asking you to help him welcome another child into his kingdom. You bring honor and glory to the Lord by trusting these children in consistent prayer and Gospel action.
Don’t give up, don’t lose hope. Raising children to love the Lord may not be easy, but the eternal rewards will far exceed your expectations. Don’t believe that no one is irredeemable. With God, all things are possible!
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Mary Orerich-Meyer is a freelance writer and copyeditor in the Chicago area who has spent years praying for ways to write about and for the Lord. In her 20 years, she has written for local healthcare organizations, interviewed physicians and clinical experts, and in addition to marketing materials, she has authored over 1,500 articles. It’s an important job for her, but it wasn’t what she felt she was tasked with. She believes her life is too short to write about anything else, and appreciates every opportunity to share her Lordship in her writing and editing. Previously, she was Director of Marketing for a large healthcare system where she was Communications. She earned her BA in International Business and Marketing from Cornell University (the original Cornell University!). Outside of her research and writing, she loves spending time with her writer’s daughter, granddaughter, rescue dog, and her husband (not always in that order).