I recently read an article called 7 Scriptures that show how important grandparents are written by Jennifer Waddle.
In her article, she points out seven of the scriptural reasons that grandparents are so important. It includes verses like Isaiah 46:4, Proverbs 17:6 and many others that talk about the wisdom of the older people.
Grandparents, especially those of us who are now tasked with raising our grandchildren, have a special responsibility to be spiritual leaders for our grandchildren.
Even though my grandparents didn’t raise me, my grandma gave me a lot of insights into God. Not all of them were good, but most of them taught me who God was and what His Son Jesus had done for us.
I love the quote that Waddle started her story with, “What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.” —Rudy Giuliani
When a grandparent has the honor of raising their grandchild, a dual role is necessary, however. It really can be a double blessing. It can also have its difficulties.
As spiritual leaders for our grandchildren in the role of being their “parents,” it can be confusing, but also, like I said, a double blessing because not only do we have the privilege of raising them in the physical, but also in the spiritual.
Why are grandparents so important?
There are many reasons that grandparents are important.
1. We are an essential source of unconditional love, as stated in Giuliani’s quote.
What does that mean? Well, it means that we love our grandchildren without conditions. It doesn’t matter what means they became a part of our life, whether we agree with the parents’ decisions or not. We love those children with unconditional love and we let them know it!
This is as true for them whether we are traditional grandparents or grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.
2. We give them kindness.
Again, we give them kindness and love which can go hand in hand. Again, this is part of the dual role we hold as grandparents and grandparents raising their grandchildren.
3. We give them patience.
Sometimes in our dual role, this can be difficult because it is easy to lose patience when you are teaching a child how to grow into a loving, kind, patient and mature adult. But patience is key especially when we are in the dual role.
4. We teach them humor and make them laugh.
Many times a day, probably hundreds of times a day, my granddaughter and I share a good laugh at either a joke or a prank or a story or in some other way.
We need to teach them the difference between a good joke and an unsavory joke that hurts other people. As a grandparent raising their grandchild, we have the task of knowing when it is time for laughter and joking and when it is time for seriouslness.
5. We give them comfort.
Our grandchildren often need comfort (just like everyone else) from a stressful day or event. Our granddaughter will let us know when she needs to be comforted. She will say, “I need you to calm me down.” That is her way of saying, “Please comfort me.”
In the dual role, we may have to give more comfort than traditional grandparents because we have to do all the comfort-giving!
6. We teach them lessons in life.
My grandpa taught me how to fish. He taught me how to change a lure, put on my bobber, cast out and reel in the big ones! This was a lesson that I have cherished for all of my life. We are teaching our granddaughter how to fish now. I hope it has the same meaning for her.
Because of our dual role, as caring for our grandchildren in all areas of their life, we teach them a lot of lessons, more so than the traditional grandparent.
As a traditional grandparent, we also teach them many lessons in life which they will keep with them for a lifetime.
My grandma taught me how to praise the Lord and to care for people less fortunate than me.
My other grandparents taught me how to live frugally.
7. We give them cookies!
Thank goodness my spouse bakes!
The BIG picture
No matter what role you play as a grandparent in your grandchild’s life, there is no doubt that it is an important role. We give them valuable lessons in life, unconditional love, and lots of cookies!
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About the author
Karin Nauber, “G.G.” is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 25 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. G.G. has nine grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. She began this website with the hope of helping other grandparents who may be struggling with their role as parent/grandparents. If you would like to contact her, please do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org.