Thursday, January 29, 2009

The very important role of grandparents

22 So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father’s household. And Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. 23 Joseph saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were also brought up on Joseph’s knees. (Genesis50:22-23)

My sons not being married yet, perhaps I should not comment on this issue so soon. However, the application of an aspect of this passage jumps out at me this morning; that is the role of godly grandparents.

Age, alone, is not a qualification for respect. Fools, if they get old, are old fools. However, old men and women who have walked in the ways of godliness have an enormous repository of knowledge and experience. They have seen the changes in life several times, have made mistakes, have experienced triumphs, and are aware that life is relatively short and that God will call us all to account for that which is done in this short, evil life.

Joseph's grandchildren were brought up on Joseph's knees. Joseph's children were about the business of working to provide for the family and increase the family's wealth. Joseph, on the other hand was old, unable to work, but in a position to share his knowledge and wisdom with his grandchildren.

Grandchildren who are given the opportunity to be raised on the knees of their godly grandparents learn a number of lessons:

1. They learn respect for the aged.
2. They learn to sit quietly and listen.
3. They learn Proverbs and quips that remain with them throughout their lives, forming a foundation for their ongoing decision-making.
4. They get to see the end product of a life lived for God; a contented, kindly person looking forward to being with their Creator-Redeemer forever; thankful for the evidences of God's grace throughout their life, sorry about the sins committed along the way, grateful for the forgiveness and cleansing that is available because of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
5. They learn to know the Scriptures, and the God of the Scriptures.
6. They learn many other things as well.

I trust that one day my sons will get married and have children. I hope that I will have leisure time to dandle their children upon my knees, health to be clear-headed and strength to be able to share with those children stories about my own life concerning the Faithfulness of the Triune God. I hope to teach them a love for the Scriptures and the great Truths of the Bible. I hope to teach them Proverbs and quips that will provide them guideposts along the path that they will have to tread in their lives.

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