Grandfathering…is commonly referred to as a ‘do over’. If you’ve ever played golf you probably understand this term. You and your buddies are on a par three and all hit bad shots, and nobody is close to the green. You sorta look at each other and somebody says, do you want a ‘do over’? it’s that second chance to do it right, do it better. Not guaranteed, but there is hope. Of course, no one counted the bad shot on their scorecard. Sorry, that’s just the way it is with ‘do overs’.
Put grandfathering in that context. You possibly made a lot of mistakes as a dad, although you did try. And since you didn’t disown your children when they were teenagers, they now are blessing you with grandchildren. And this is your second chance to ‘do it right’. One of the real advantages right from the beginning is this. You get to spoil them and you don’t have to discipline them. It’s written somewhere in stone. Your children must accept this as truth. The consequences of this are mixed, notably when you keep them for a weekend and the parents return and the children have become pretty rowdy. They look at you and wonder as to what you have done in the short period of time. You smilingly remind them; “I spoil, you discipline. See you next week. Bye kids.”
Benefits of “grandfathering”
But there is a lot more. Beyond being a joy inexpressible, it is a privilege and a sacred trust. Here are just some of the benefits.
You get to brag, show photos
Attend events to support them
Embellish your life experiences
Pray for them
Teach them lots of things
Be their biggest fan, their cheerleader
Be available when they want to call and talk
Tell stories about their parents (not all of them)
Impart a lifetime of wisdom
Being an encourager
To just listen
Help them appreciate and understand their heritage
Tell them about Jesus and what he has been to you
And if that weren’t enough, you are privileged to pay for everything when together- Seriously, it is an unwritten law.
There is so much more. Tell me yours.
Pass the baton
We only have to look at the names in the Old Testament. They weren’t just John or Bill or Jack. Here’s one for instance. “The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah” (Zeph. 1.1). They were a part of a family. They understood who they were in a broader context than just little old me.
God designed the family that way. And as granddads, we need to embrace it, use our position to glorify God our Creator. To pass on the baton to them so they may do the same to theirs.
The New Living Translation puts it this way—“May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.” Yes, and amen! Joanne and I have experienced this with five, and now our first great granddaughter. And I would sum all this up with one verse. To explain the source of this enjoyment. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (III Jn. 4) And when it says ‘children’, it means grand and great grandchildren. It just keeps getting more and more joyful!