What’s a Grandparent to Do?

An author and executive director of a pro-family organization says grandparenting is a special occupation, but sometimes a confusing one.

Dr. Tim Kimmel of the Family Matters ministry, author of Grace Based Parenting and Why Christian Kids Rebel, has produced a new DVD Bible study with his wife entitled Grandparenthood: More Than Rocking Chairs. Kimmel says the study was created because the average church offers no resources to equip first-time grandparents for their important role.

Kimmel says Grandparenthood addresses several grandparenting issues from a biblical perspective, dealing with questions like, “Where are the boundaries?” “What can I say and not say?” “What should I do — what do we do with disciplining these kids when they're over at our house?” “What happens when my kids have to come and live with me, or my grandkids are living with me?”

The Bible study also addresses what can happen when grandparents' adult children go through a divorce or marry someone who does not share their values system. In these situations and others, the Family Matters spokesman says the main thing grandparents need to do can be found in Psalm 71. “And even when I'm old and gray,” he prays, quoting the scripture, “do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation.”

Kimmel describes grandparenting in terms of four biblical roles: the first, he notes, is to be the family's “blessing givers,” and the second is to leave a legacy. “You don't have a choice of whether you leave a legacy — you're leaving one. It's what kind,” he says.

“You don't want to leave a legacy of regret or a legacy of shame or a legacy of anger or a legacy of frustration,” the ministry leader explains. “You want to leave a legacy of grace — a legacy that really impacts their lives.” Then, he adds, there is the third role of grandparenting, which is to bear a torch or illuminate lives for Christ. And grandparents' fourth role, he says, is to set a standard for decency.

Grandparenting is far more than handing out candy and toys, Kimmel says. In the DVD Bible study he and his wife produced, the couple shows grandparents what the Bible has to say about their responsibility to their children and their children's children, and how they can have a lasting impact on the lives of their family members.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press).

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