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The Biblical Role of a Grandparent

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Josh Mulvihill

on 25 May 2017

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Transcript of The Biblical Role of a Grandparent

Biblical Grandparenting
What is the biblical role of a grandparent?
Every member of the family is given a clear, God-ordained role that is not interchangeable with other members of the family.
Biblical roles for the family
Husbands = head (Eph. 5:23)
Wives = helpmate (Gen. 2:18; Eph. 5:22)
Children = honor (Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1)
Grandparents = ?
What do you believe is the role of a grandparent?
What one word

would you choose to summarize the biblical role of a grandparent?
Share your answer with at least one other person.
You have 5 minutes to answer & discuss:
Role Confusion in America:
American culture on grandparenthood: uncertain & ambiguous.
Profile of a Grandparent Today
94% of older Americans with children are grandparents.
50% of grandparents will become great grandparents.
Due to increased life expectancy, individuals might live half their life as a grandparent.
50% of grandparents are under the age of 60 & are not members of the elderly population, with the median age between 53-57.
33% of grandparents experience grandparenthood “off time,” younger than 40 or older than 60.
Grandparents are projected to have fewer grandchildren than past generations due to lower birth rates, more working mothers, and delayed marriage of children.
50% of grandparents are working.
Research shows the average grandparent becomes a grandparent at an early age, lives longer than previous generations, is healthier, is financially stable, and has a living spouse.
“There is new uncertainty about what it means to be a grandparent and what grandparents are supposed to do.” Gunhild Hagestad,
"When we probed deeper we discovered that many grandparents simply did not know anymore what was expected of them." Kornhaber & Woodward,

“There are no clear guidelines on how to be a grandparent." Cherlin & Furstenberg,
The New American Grandparent
Common Roles:
Surrogate Parent: 1 in 10
Spoiler: Playmate and companion
Snow birds: Migrate away, distant
Sage: Wisdom and family history
Spiritual Leader: Intentional influence
"The New Social Contract"
Non-interference, Emotional independence, Personal autonomy
In general, society has lost its compass regarding why the generations should interact, how they are to do so, and what responsibilities one has to the other.
The one word that describes a grandparent's role:
"Children (and grandchildren) are a heritage from the Lord" Ps. 127:3
"He vented his wrath on his heritage." Ps. 78:62
"They shall be the offspring of the blessed Lord and their descendants with them." Is. 65:23
“For they are your people and your heritage.” Deut. 9:29
“for they [Israel] are your people, and your heritage, which you brought out of Egypt.” 1 Kings 8:51
Key Texts:
Deut. 6:1-2; fear the Lord
Deut. 12:28; obedience
Ps. 71:16-18; proclaim God's character
Ps. 78:1-8; teach and tell
Ps. 145; Titus 2
Notice the progression:
silent mouths (v. 4) --> rebellious generations (v. 8) --> God pours out his wrath on his heritage (v.62).
teach and tell of the glories of God (v. 5-6) --> future generations place hope in Jesus and obey God’s commands (v. 7) --> a heritage of faith is built (v. 71).
Contrasting Legacies
Jonathan Edwards
1 U.S. Vice-President,
3 U.S. Senators,
3 governors,
3 mayors,
13 college presidents,
30 judges,
65 professors,
80 public office holders,
100 lawyers and
100 missionaries.
Max Jukes
7 murderers,
60 thieves,
50 women of debauchery,
130 convicts,
310 paupers (with over 2,300 years lived in poorhouses),
400 who were physically wrecked by indulgent living,
The family tree of 42 different men in the New York prison system traced back to him.
2 Tim. 1:3-7, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
How do grandparents build a godly heritage?
1. Adopt a biblical vision for your family. Ps. 78:6-7; multi-generational
2. Diligently work toward three goals: hope, lifelong faithfulness, obedience.
Grandparents are to busy themselves with three activities
Psalm 78:5“he commanded our fathers to teach their children.”
To teach is to instruct or guide
Duet. 4:9, 10, 14
2 Tim. 3:14-15
5 Principles for
Teaching Grandchildren
1. Early instruction (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:15)
2. Plain instruction (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
3. Frequent instruction (2 Tim. 3:14)
4. Patient instruction (1 Thess. 2:9-12; Col. 1:28-2:1)
5. Jesus-centered instruction (Luke 24:27; John 5:39)

“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil" Col. 1:28
Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders he has done.”
To describe the work of God and his nature; some time in story form
...what God has done and who God is
Psalm 145:4-12 provides a glimpse
Love, follow, obey Christ (Mark 12:30-31)
Scriptures sound a loud warning to the elderly: “their fathers forgot my name” and “have not obeyed my words” (Jer. 23:27; 25:8).
Rom. 6:12 “Let not sin reign in your mortal body” Col. 1:10 “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him.”
Righteousness in old age results in the continued production of spiritual fruit
Age does not impair fruit-bearing capabilities. It enhances them. Will Ps. 44:1 or Judges 2:10 be true for your grandchildren?
Ps. 92:12-14
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