This morning at church, a baby was dedicated to God. This happens in all religions. But it wasn’t the baby being dedicated that struck me to the core. It was the commitment that the Pastor asked the grandparents to have in helping the parents, encouraging them, and supporting their decision to raise the child to know God. There are many paths in life and if given the right instruction and guidance, it’s our prayer that our grandchildren will take the path that God lays out before them.
It’s great being a grandparent. E brings me unspeakable joy, even when I’m not with him, his heart and his spirit make me smile. It’s easy to love him. But it’s not easy to be a spiritual role model to him and to his parents. We are the generation they look to for support and guidance. The commitment required to teach the child about God is the most important part of being a grandparent.
E’s other grandmother got him a Bible for Easter. It’s just a sample kid’s Bible with all the usual stories: Noah and the ark, David and Goliath, Joseph and his coat, Jesus, Peter the fisherman, Paul the preacher, and others. There are life lessons in each of these stories. Noah teaches him to trust God and always look for His promises. David teaches him that even thought obstacles may seem insurmountable, God will always be with him. Joseph teaches him that sometimes we can’t always see God in what happens but He is always working in our lives. Jesus teaches him about God’s unconditional love for us. Peter shows him that his life should be invested in the lives of others and that mistakes, even though they will happen, can be forgiven and used to mold him into God’s image. Paul teaches him that you can be on one path, and an encounter with God can change your life.
I’m writing in a journal that I will give him someday filled with all kinds of life lessons that God has taught me and my hopes and dreams for him. All of these things play a crucial part in our desire, as grandparents, to help him grow up to love God. It’s a huge trust God has given us, but He has always used the elders to teach the younger ones. It doesn’t take a village to raise him; it takes a God-fearing family, a loving church family, and a commitment to show him the ways of God. It’s my prayer that one day, E will stand up with his own grandchildren and vow to do the same.