I am an American with almost no heritage-identity.
For most of my life I believed myself to be of Cherokee descent, but I now know my ancestors hailed mostly from Scotland and Wales.
Like many born in America, the only culture we know is American. The only heritage we know is what we’re told.
The same is true of spiritual beliefs. Our ethos comes from others who have shared it with us. Our beliefs about ourselves and the world we live in comes from our family first, and then from the world.
Grandparents Connect the Past and Present
Something I’ll never get from a heritage DNA kit is the personal connection with my heritage that my grandparents offered me. They couldn’t tell me which part of the Scottish highlands our family came from. They couldn’t recall the first-ever immigrant to this country, but they passed onto me another heritage–a Christian heritage.
The relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild is one that connects the past and present like no history book or DNA test.
When the generations are able to live together in one lifetime, sharing histories and details together, it’s something special.
Today’s children are in an identity crisis. Many struggle with sexuality, spirituality, purpose, and much, much more.
Along with the parents and teachers who are most involved with children today, the grandparents should take an active role as often as possible.
The Unique Role of Grandparents
Grandparents get to share their testimony to a generation removed from their own. This can make it easier to share details. Sharing a personal testimony from the past is a great way to share culture and growth with the younger generation.
An active grandparent should spend time with their grandchildren as often as they are able. The grandparents shouldn’t just be a babysitter, but can often have a great impact when special time is made to spend with the grandchildren.
A grandpa or grandma can be a confidante and trusted advisor to the grandchildren. The wisdom of a lifetime will benefit the children especially during the adolescent and young adult years.
Grandparents not only have a different perspective, but a different responsibility. They spend time with the kids and teach them all they can, but aren’t responsible for the day-to-day care.
What do you remember of your grandparents? If you have a living grandparent, take the opportunity to share in their spiritual journey. Let them be a part of yours. Ask them questions, now, while they’re living.
If they aren’t living, ask your parents about them. What did they believe. What was your grandpa’s favorite hymn? What was your grandmother’s favorite scripture passage? What church did they attend? Did they ever have a Jesus-experience?
If you have children, I hope you’ll encourage them in a relationship with their grandparents. If you are a grandparent, reach out to those grandkids. Pray for them. Spend time with them.
This is your chance to affect generations to come.