A friend and I were discussing our grandchildren’s joy when the conversation took a sudden turn.
“I don’t talk much about God to my daughter’s children because she doesn’t agree. I don’t know why she goes through so much trouble with this. I’m afraid she’ll get mad at me.”
Sadly, many grandparents face this dilemma. Their children do not value their faith in God, and their grandchildren grow up starved of spiritual nourishment. For some, things are even worse. Their children vehemently oppose God and are taught to disdain His ways.
But God invites grandparents to influence their grandchildren to know and love Him.
Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the wealth of sinners is inherited by the godly (Proverbs 13:22 NLTs).
Leaving a financial legacy is nice, but what more? heritage Can I leave my grandchildren more than love and respect for God?
In old age they still bear fruit. They keep vitality and greenery. They will declare, “The Lord is righteous!” He is my rock! There is no evil in him! ”(Psalm 92:14-15 NLT)
Grandparents should, first and foremost, share the good news about Jesus with their families.
There is no doubt that grandparents have a spiritual mission for their grandchildren, but questions remain. How do you share the gospel with your grandchildren if your parents are not believers?
We will begin by reviewing four biblical principles regarding sharing the gospel in the face of adversity. Here are some practical ideas for putting your plan into action.
1. You will oppose the gospel, but God will provide you.
“Behold, I send you out as a sheep among wolves, so be as shrewd as a serpent and harmless as a dove.” Matthew 10:16 NLTs).
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples before sending them off to announce that the kingdom of heaven was near. He also sends us with the same message into the same broken world filled with “wolves” who are hostile to us. Perhaps that wolf will be your own child or grandchild.
But we are not afraid. Jesus continued by encouraging:
For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaks through you (Matthew 10:20 NLTs).
The Spirit of God who lives within us gives us wisdom and the word to speak. We don’t have to figure it out ourselves.
2. When words are forbidden, your godly life speaks.
Even if some refuse to follow the good news, your godly life will speak to them without words. They will be fascinated by observing your pure and godly life (1 Peter 3:1b-2 NLT).
Peter illustrates this principle in the situation of a wife living with an unbelieving husband, but I think grandparents can also rely on this principle.it agrees Matthew 5:16In it, Jesus describes how the light of God shines from believers as an act of glorifying God.
3. Spiritual opportunities are more frequent in relationships and time spent together.
One of the things I always pray for is that God will finally give me the opportunity to come and see you. for I long to visit you with spiritual gifts that will help you to be strong in the Lord (Romans 1:10-11 NLTs).
God with us, Emmanuel, demonstrates the power of face-to-face relationships. Knowing this, Paul also had a strong desire to visit the people of Rome and share with them the spiritual gifts that would increase their faith. The act of traveling to them and spending time with them conveyed gospel truths better than other forms of communication over long distances.
4. God hears your prayers for the lost.
Before Jesus died on the cross, he prayed to his father for his disciples. But his prayers didn’t end there.
I pray not only for these disciples, but for all who believe in me through their message (John 17:20 NLTs).
The prayer of Jesus has carried the power of the resurrection from generation to generation into our lives here in the 21st century. If Jesus, our God, prayed for those who believe in the future, don’t you think we should continue to pray for them?
13 actionable ideas
1. Project God’s nature through your amiable demeanor and lifestyle.
Make your actions and messages hopeful and engaging instead of pessimistic and judgmental.
2. Promote family unity and respect unbelieving children.
God commands children to honor their parents (Exodus 20:12). A grandparent’s efforts to share the gospel with their grandchildren should never undermine the authority of the parent or convey contempt.
3. Spend time with your grandchildren.
Show up at holidays, special events, sports, and everyday life to show your interest in them. Find out what they enjoy and get involved. Love conveyed through time spent together may over time lead to respect for your values and a desire to know more about God.
4. Invite your grandchildren to go to church with you.
If the unbelieving parent is indifferent rather than hostile to God, offer to take their grandchildren to Sunday school or church. Even better, ask her to stay the night before so you can spend more time together.
5. Concrete your spiritual life and relationship with God.
If your grandchildren spend the night, let them see you study the Bible and pray each morning. Stop and pray at meals, even if no one is with you.
6. Talk about God’s work in your life.
If you do not allow your nonbelieving children to speak directly to their grandchildren about God, avoid statements that tell them what to believe. Instead, use simple, natural statements about how you see the world, using “I believe” statements like these:
Sunday is the best day of the week because I can go to church.
Reading the Bible every morning is a great way to start the day.
When I speak to God, He gives me peace of mind.
When I have a problem, I read the Bible to find the answer.
7. Regularly preach Bible principles without preaching.
For example, when you talk to your teenage grandchild about the money you make shoveling snow, you can reinforce the biblical concept that if you’re faithful to a few things, you’ll be entrusted with more. Even if you don’t refer to the Bible, you will be instilling God’s truths in your grandchildren’s minds.
8. Emphasize the importance of righteousness in all areas of life.
For example, when playing a game together, say, “I want to follow the rules and do the right thing.” Always emphasize the importance of truth. Help teens in need of friendship advice understand the wisdom of putting others first. This creates a craving for moral values in the grandchildren.
9. Watch for signs of spiritual readiness.
God created each person with the desire to know Him (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Sooner or later your grandchildren will want to know more about God. Ask God to help you understand the needs of their hearts and prepare thoughtful questions that lead to opportunities for truth sharing.
10. Show God’s love through carefully chosen gifts.
Gifts for grandchildren should reveal the beauty of Christ. For example, non-believing parents may tolerate vampire ugliness, but need not reinforce such interests. Overtly Christian gifts may not be allowed, but many “non-Christian” gifts arouse interest in spiritual matters. If the gift includes time with you, it adds an even better purpose for building a relationship. For example, give your grandchildren a game that encourages free conversation (such as Ungame) in which you can insert spiritual truths. Then play with them. Or take them to a classic Christian-themed play or movie, such as Les Miserables.
11. Offer interesting books of spiritual interest.
You may want to read it aloud together. When I was a preteen, I had a teacher who gave me The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis. At the time, I didn’t know that the piece contained Christian themes. But the message softened my heart and created an understanding and connection to my subsequent encounters with the gospel.
12. Endure ridicule gracefully.
Your unbelieving children, or even your grandchildren, may make fun of you or ridicule your faith. Accept 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.
13. Love and encourage unbelieving children.
Elevate your partner by praising their strengths and avoiding criticism. Not only will they experience God’s love through you, but you will maintain open communication and access with your grandchildren.
God Gives Insight, Adjust Your Approach
These practical ideas can give you a starting point for sharing the gospel with your grandchildren if your parents are not believers. However, it should be adjusted according to the attitude of the unbelieving child. If they are simply not interested in matters of faith, they may not object to you openly sharing the gospel with your grandchildren. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this wonderful open door to influence their hearts for Christ. But if your unbelieving children are hostile to God, you have to be more creative with them. Prioritize spending time with your grandchildren because your relationships with them are the foundation of your opportunities. You may be the only person influencing a Christian in their life.
My friend Michelle held back from trying to share the gospel with her grandchildren because of fear. Maybe you too are holding back because of fear. You may worry about the anger directed at you. Or we may worry that we will break relationships with our disbelieving children and be cut off from our grandchildren. But God addresses these common fears.
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting in the Lord means safety (Proverbs 29:25 NLTs).
Ask God to help you overcome your fears and lead you to a faith that will pass on your rich spiritual heritage to your grandchildren. Our faithful God may surprise you by welcoming your unbelieving children into His family along with your grandchildren.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Rudi Suardi
Annie Yorty We write and speak to encourage others to recognize God’s personality, presence, provision, and purpose in life’s unexpected twists and turns. Married to her high school sweetheart and living in Pennsylvania, she has a teenage child, two adult children (one of whom is mentally disabled), and a furry beast. Raising Labradoodles.she wrote From Ignorance to Bliss: The Mind of God Revealed Through Down Syndrome. get in touch with her at http://annieyorty.com/, Facebookand Instagram.