We all have grandparents, but do we all appreciate the blessing they are? Today AMBrewster discusses God’s gift of the elderly and equips Christians to love God better while loving the older generation in our lives.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a family resource from Truth.Love.Parent., a ministry dedicated to rooting families in God and maturing families for God so they can harvest blessings from God.
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Creation Week hasn’t even started yet, and we’re talking about the minor holiday that lands on the Sunday after Creation Week comes to a close.
Why is that?
Well, we’ve talked often about the importance of intentional, premeditated preparation, and we’re gong to continue talking about it.
If this show does nothing more than help us all be more intentional in our scheduled time with God and family and friends pursuing Him and His glory . . . amen!
Also, we’re going to do our best this year to not overwhelm anyone. This is year one for The Celebration of God, and we want to make it as easy for you as possible.
So, we could have posted this episode during Creation Week and given you less time to prepare, but there was no good reason to do that.
Now, we may have to double up a little in the future. There are some significant holidays that are pretty close together, but we’re going to do our best to streamline the learning curve for all of us.
The cool thing is, you have over a week to prepare for Grandparent’s Day, and that’s good news for me.
By the way, if you are on Instagram or Facebook, I’d like to invite you to like and follow The Celebration of God. We’re there because we want to do two things:
1. Social Media is a great place to get reminders about the Season we’re in and the holiday we’re observing.
And 2. Evermind Ministries, Truth.Love.Parent., and The Celebration of God desperately want to provide ways for Christians to redeem their news feeds. Instead of logging off wondering why you were there because it was nothing but arguing and complaining and godlessness, we want you to be able to encounter things on your feed that will lift your spirits and make it easier for you to glorify and celebrate God.
So, please like and follow The Celebration of God on Instagram and Facebook.
And for those of you who a week is more than enough time to prepare for Grandparent’s Day, we have free episode notes and transcripts at TheCelebrationOfGod.com. You can check back there any time you want when it’s time to get ready.
Alright . . . let’s talk about how to prepare for, celebrate in, and disciple during Grandparent’s Day.
There used to be a time when grandparents and great grandparents were an integral part of daily life. In some countries that’s still the case.
However, technology, transportation, and a growing sense of ageism in our world over the past 100 years or so has made less and less of the importance of godly grandparents.
That is a travesty, and I’m excited to have this annual reminder to see the value in grandparents we have in our lives.
Now, before we get into the details, I want to point out that your grandparents or your community’s grandparents don’t have to be saints in order to celebrate them.
I’ve met some horrible people who are grandparents. But just remember, The Celebration of God is about celebrating God. One of the ways we can do that on Grandparents Day is by praising God directly for our grandparents, but also by showing honor to the ones we have.
So, let’s say my living grandparents are terrible people . . . and — full transparency — they’re not . . . I can still praise God for bringing me into this world via them.
We’ll talk more about this in a moment, but I didn’t want anyone tuning out because they either have bad grandparents or they don’t have any living grandparents.
Neither of those should stop us from celebrating God for the gift of family.
Okay, so how de we prepare for Grandparent’s Day?
Well, since we’re putting all of this into one episode, just know that there is much more that could be said, but we’re introducing the basics for our first go-through. Obviously, anything and everything you add to this will be great as long as it pleases the Lord, and we welcome you to share your idea on Facebook and Instagram. Tell us how you are preparing for, celebrating in, and discipling during Grandparent’s Day.
Since Grandparent’s Day is just one day — a Sunday, mind you — and since it lands right after the last day of celebration for Creation Week, you’re going to have to make a decision.
I recommend either updating your Celebration Wall on Saturday, or you can simply add Grandparents to the Creation Week decorations.
What about this, since Friday is the day we’re going to celebrate God’s creation of mankind, that may be a great day to post pictures of some of our ancestors — including our grandparents. Then you can use that as a nice segue into Grandparent’s Day on Sunday.
Either way you choose to do it, you’re going to want to put something on your Celebration Wall. As I mentioned, you can put up pictures of yours and your children’s grandparents. You can ask your students to bring a picture of their grandparents. Kids of all ages will think it’s cool having their family’s picture up in the wall.
But you need to include Scripture. Remember, that’s so important.
So, what Bible passages would you include on the Celebration Wall for Grandparent’s Day? Well, actually there are a lot of them.
I’m going share a number of passages in a just a moment that you can use for preparing yours and your disciplee’s hearts as well as placing on your Wall and using during the celebration.
Pick and choose as you see fit, but I would recommend you and your community commit this first one to memory. It is extremely valuable at combating the predisposition to devalue old age.
Proverbs 17:6 says, “Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory of sons is their fathers.” This verse shows both sides of the spectrum. You and your disciplees are likely someone’s grandchild. You have the opportunity of being their crown and rejoicing. And the second half of the verse doesn’t merely refer to your father. That particular Hebrew word was often used of grandfathers. And the word “glory” refers to beauty or adornment.
Therefore, this verse sets the expectations for Christ-honoring families — there is to be a mutual benefit, joy, and beauty associated with the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren.
II Timothy 1:5 tells us specifically of Timothy’s grandmother and could be used to celebrate the blessing of having a grandparent whose love of God prompted him to pass on to you his faith.
If you happen to be a grandparent either in position or by virtue of your age, Titus 2:1-5 beautifully illustrates part of your responsibility to God in regard to how you influence the younger generations.
Exodus 20:12 is a familiar verse rarely applied to grandparents. In the English it reads, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you,” but again the word for father can easily refer to a grandparent or even forefather from previous generations. In Genesis 28:13, the Lord is speaking to Jacob and refers to Abraham as his “father.” Abraham was Jacob’s grandfather.
Interestingly enough, the word is also used as a term of respect for a person who is not even your relative, but who is simply older. I find it interesting that David uses this term of King Saul. Saul had been hunting David for quite some time, and yet when given the opportunity to kill Saul, David refused, but instead used this term of endearment with Saul.
This again points to the fact that we have much for which to be thankful even if our grandparents weren’t the best example of a follower of Christ.
And I Peter 5:5 is yet another important reminder of how we should treat our elders: “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Finally, Deuteronomy 4:9 is another challenge to all of us, but parents and grandparents specifically, concerning how we are to speak God’s Truth in love to the next generation.
Obviously, all of these passages and more can be used to prepare as well as to celebrate and disciple around Grandparent’s Day and throughout the year.
Let’s move on.
There are two facets to this celebration, and we’re going to revisit these concepts in the future because all of us will have the opportunity to experience this throughout our celebratory year.
Unlike Christmas and Easter and Creation Week where our attention should be focused completely on God, Grandparent’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Children’s Day, Birthdays, and Anniversaries are all celebrations of people.
Now, we would do well to remember that our main goal on every day of the year is to celebrate God. We do that by loving Him and loving others, and it’s the second greatest command that teaches us that giving respect and honor to people is part of how we celebrate God . . . never to the exclusion of God, but always as a part of the fulfillment of our celebration of God.
So, it’s definitely good and right and proper for us to heap honor and presents and love and hugs and the like on people regardless of whether it’s a special day or not.
That’s one side of this celebration. We need to make certain that the glory we lay on our grandparents and elders points everyone’s gaze to Christ.
But I want to speak specifically to grandparents. Again, this will eventually apply to all of us on our birthdays and the like.
What are grandparent’s to do on Grandparent’s Day? How do you celebrate Grandparent’s Day?
1. Praise God for using your ancestors to bring you into this world.
2. If your grandparents were godly people who laid the foundation for you coming to Christ, praise God for that.
3. Thank God for the blessing of being a grandparental figure in other’s lives. Whether you’re a biological, adopted, foster, or spiritual grandparent, don’t allow the significance of your position to be lost on you.
4. Receive the honor that people will want to bestow on you. It’s not wrong to accept the love that is directed your way. You can always redirect that love back to God, but never reject it.
5. Look for ways to serve your grandchildren. Yes, it’s a day they should want to serve you, but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t expect you to stop loving Him and loving them. You may likely have many opportunities over the course of the day to selflessly do or speak something that blesses another. Look for those opportunities. Continue (or start today) modeling how a follower of Christ is to act.
And for the rest of us, we should look for opportunities to be a blessing to our elders — whether they’re our biological, adopted, spiritual, or simply community elders. Take them out to eat, bring them food, call them, sit with them, ask them questions, listen to their answers, buy them something they will love and spend time with them as they enjoy it. Perhaps you could do some house or yard work for them.
How about taking some time to pray with them and talk of the goodness of God.
And definitely read the verses, speak of God’s goodness to give you these people. Lift Him up as you lift them up.
Just like every other holiday, we should intentionally prepare our hearts, our Walls, and our disciplees for success. Meditate on Scripture and put it up so it will draw your mind to God’s goodness.
And when it comes to celebrating God by celebrating a person, don’t try to “balance” the celebration between the two . . . instead make the celebrating of the person a part of the celebration of God. Think of it like concentric circles. We’re not going to call our grandparents and rake their yard and then focus on God. We’re going to call our grandparents and rake their yard because we’re intentionally celebrating God.
That distinction is vital.
And . . .
As we’ve been learning, the best way to disciple the people in your life during Grandparent’s Day and any other day is to invite them into your celebration.
Encourage them to connect with their grandparents. Find an elderly individual who happens to be in both of your lives and do something sweet for them. Talk about how you both can live today and tomorrow and every day thereafter in such a way that will prepare you to be a God-honoring elder and grandparent in the future.
Sunday would be a great day for a Sunday School class, morning service, or small group lesson about the blessings, roles and responsibilities, and/or honor due grandparents.
If you’re a school teacher, give your students something to do over the weekend that will encourage them to celebrate God with how they relate to the elderly in their lives.
As always, the opportunities are as endless as the people who attempt it.
None of us would be here had God not used our ancestors. We owe God the praise for that! But — for many of us — our grandparents and great-grandparents and other elders are worthy of much honor, and it would be a great idea to celebrate God by showing them the love due them.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets, and join us next time as we perform a Celebration Check-Up.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.