There is nothing like the love and adoration of a grandparent to their grandchildren. It is a special relationship that is often filled with incredible joy. What does the Bible have to say about grandparents? How can they contribute to the lives of their grandchildren? What role do they play in the lives of their children and grandchildren?
“Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child’s growth as vitamins.”
“A Grandma’s love feels like no one else’s!”
“Grandparents are a delightful blend of laughter, caring deeds, wonderful stories, and love.”
“A grandparent has silver in their hair and gold in their heart.”
The blessing of being a grandparent
First and foremost, the Bible calls being a grandparent a tremendous blessing. God has given children to a family to bless them. This is a blessing not only for the parents but for all of the family – and the grandparents are especially blessed. This relationship should be very important and it can easily be one of the most beautiful relationships in that child’s life.
1. Proverbs 17:6 “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.”
2. Psalm 92:14 “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.”
3. Proverbs 16:31 “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.”
4. Psalm 103:17 “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lords love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.
5. Proverbs 13:22 “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.”
The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren
The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is beautiful. Grandparents are given to us to bestow their wisdom on us, to teach us about God and His word, and to help raise up children who will serve the Lord. Even as they age and are able to do less, they are no less valuable. Their lessons may change as they age – but we still will learn to love others and to love God by caring for them. There are several beautiful examples in Scripture about the precious blessing that the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be.
6. Genesis 31:55 “Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.”
7. 2 Timothy 1:5 “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
8. Genesis 48:9 “Joseph said to his father, ‘They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.”
The responsibilities of grandparents
Grandparents have roles given to them by God. These roles are to play an intrigal part in the lives of their children and grandchildren. While the role of grandparent is not as authoritative in the life of the children, it is no less influential and significant.
First and foremost, Grandparents have a responsibility to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. The sins of the grandparents can have a lasting effect upon the life of their children and grandchildren. The younger generations are watching them – watching them closely – and learning from what they see. Grandparents need to live lives that are centered around glorifying God with all that they do.
Grandparents are also supposed to teach sound doctrine to their children and grandchildren. The word of God must be central to their lives. They have to know sound doctrine in order to teach it. Grandparents are also supposed to be dignified and self controlled. They have to live lives that are reverent in behavior and be sober minded. They should teach their children and grandchildren how to be godly husbands and wives. They are to help train and teach the grandchildren in how to live lives that honor God.
9. Exodus 34:6-7 “And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he doe not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
10. Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.”
11. Titus 2:1-5 “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to be self controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
The responsibility of grandchildren
Just as grandparents have responsibility towards their grandchildren, the grandchildren have a responsibility towards their grandparents. Grandchildren are to honor their parents and grandparents. We bestow honor by speaking truthfully about them and by speaking respectfully to them and listening to them when they speak. Grandparents who love Jesus seek to teach their grandchildren – who have the responsibility of listening to them so that they might learn. Children and grandchildren have the responsibility of caring for their parents and grandparents as they age. This is a blessing and a learning opportunity all in one.
12. Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
13. Proverbs 4:1-5 “Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, ‘Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.’’
14. Psalm 71:9 “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.”
15. Proverbs 1:8-9 “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”
16. 1 Timothy 5:4 “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.”
Verses to encourage grandparents
Being a grandparent is such a blessing! Regardless of how physically able they are, regardless of how intact their mind remains – being a grandparent is a blessing to the whole family. They can rest assured that their godly influence will not go unnoticed by the Lord. They are having an impact.
17. Proverbs 16:31 “Grey hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.”
18. Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I haves made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”
19. Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.”
20. Psalm 92:14-15 “They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”
21. Isaiah 40:28-31 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
22. Psalm 100:5 “For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”
23. Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.”
24. Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Examples of grandparents in the Bible
We can see many examples of grandparents in scripture. Some examples are people we should emulate. Others, are given to us as warnings of what sort of behavior or attitude we are to avoid.
A bad example of grandparents is found in 2 Kings 11. This is the story of Athaliah, mother of King Ahaziah of Judah. Athaliah was still alive when her son King Ahaziah died. Upon his death, the Queen Mother had all of her royal family executed so that she could reign. However, one of Ahaziah’s sisters, Jehosheba, hid her son. This baby’s name was Joash. The Queen Mother reigned for 6 years while her grandson Joash and his nurse hid in the temple. When Joash turned 7, the high priest brought him out in public and anointed him. The priest also put the crown on his head and proclaimed him King Joash of Judah. Queen Athaliah saw this, and became enraged. The high priest ordered her to be executed. King Joash reigned for 40 years.
A wonderful example of a grandparent in Scripture is in the book of Ruth. The story of Ruth happens in one of the worst times in Jewish history. Naomi and her husband were, like many Jewish people at that time, in exile. They were living in the land of their enemies, the Moabites. Then, Naomi’s husband died. Ruth chose to stay with her mother in law and care for her. She later marries Boaz. When a son is born to Boaz and Ruth the villagers came up to Naomi and said, “Naomi has a son” in congratulations. Even though this child was not a blood relative of Naomi, she was viewed as the grandmother. She was a godly grandmother who was extremely blessed by being a part of her grandson Obed’s life. Ruth’s life was immensely blessed by having Naomi in it. Learn more about Ruth here – Ruth in the Bible.
25. Ruth 4:14-17 “The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” 16 Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
How to leave a Godly legacy?
Billy Graham said, “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”
No one on earth will pray for you like your grandparents. Even when they are sickly, they can work hard at being a godly grandparent simply by praying for their grandchildren.
Another way grandparents can be a tremendous influence is by telling their testimony to their grandchildren over and over. Tell stories about God’s provision, about how He always keeps His promises, about His faithfulness. Grandparents have a long life that they have lived – and now they are at the stage where they get to sit and tell stories of HIs goodness! What a remarkable way to leave a legacy!
26. Psalm 145:4 “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.”
27. 2 Timothy 3:14-15 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
28. Deuteronomy 6:1-2 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to posssess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.”
29. Genesis 45:10 “You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.”
30. Deuteronomy 32:7 “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.”
While a lot of our culture is pushing for old age to be eliminated, and for the aged to be put away and forgotten – the Bible teaches quite the opposite. We are to incorporate our grandparents in our life for they are a vital aspect of God’s family plan. They provide a legacy that no one else can. They provide teaching and prayers and lessons that no one else can. Being a grandparent is such a tremendous blessing. What an honor it is to have godly grandparents!