“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.”Philippians 4:9
St. Paul the Apostle isn’t afraid to promote modeling faith, hope, and love to others. Grandparents shouldn’t be either. How we live out the virtues of faith, hope, and love can influence our grandchildren’s lives.
Our faith in God forms our relationships with all those around us, including our grandchildren. So how can we be models of faith for these special people? Very simply, by our actions. Take them to church, sit with their families at church. Make sure you support their faith journey by attending ceremonies (baptisms, dedications, confirmations, etc.) Also, tell them you pray for them when they express a need or problem and ask them what you can pray for. Use natural occasions to express your faith and share it with them.
Our hope in Jesus Christ is like an anchor. It’s something you cannot see that holds you in place when circumstances make your life turbulent. Romans 8:24 says “…now hope that is seen is not hope,” just as an anchor that is seen isn’t doing the job of an anchor. What Grandparent doesn’t need hope?”
Sad, bad, even devastating, things happen, like an untimely death in the family, and our grandchildren can and should see us going on with hope even in the face of hard times. If we live as if we have a reason to live, not giving up or despairing, we show them the hope of heaven.
Love is the foundation. It’s an act of the will, not always something you “feel” but it’s something you “do”, and it looks different to each child according to age, gender, and interests. Each one needs to be loved and accepted right where they are. Stand by them and give them unconditional love when they have challenges or even make bad decisions. Be “on their side” while still calling them on.
“So faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”1 Corinthians 13:13
This article is excerpted from Grandly, copyright © 2018 – 2023 Grandly Missions, Inc. Grandly has launched an online seminar for grandparents who are seeking to pass on their faith to their grandchildren more effectively. To learn more or to register for the seminar visit https://grandly.org/doitgrandly/.
Top image credit: photo of grandparents reading to their grandchildren, from Bigstock.com, © monkeybusinessimages, stock photo ID: 92579417. Used with permission.
Mike and Mary Miklosovic are members of the Word of Life, a member community of the Sword of the Spirit. They live in Ypsilanti, Michigan USA and have numerous grandchildren.