There is no one quite like grandmother. Grandmothers are the only people who truly care about your child's music performance, the picture they drew and their scraped toenail. Grandfathers too and we don’t mean any disrespect to the fellows, but today I want to commend and encourage grandmothers, as Sunday is Mother's Day.
The Bible tells us how God sees grandmothers and that is, children's children are their crown (Proverbs). They absolutely delight in their grandchildren. That passage explains how deeply they care about the toenails. The Bible also says God desires for us to "teach diligently" the ways of God to our sons and our son's sons, meaning grandchildren. (Deuteronomy).
So this is a calling presented to grandmothers in the word of God. We are not responsible for our grandchildren and we do not answer to God for their upbringing, the way we do for our own children. But He says in his Word that He desires for us to teach our grandchildren His ways. I'm taking this to mean I don't get to spoil those youngin's when I'm a mee-maw.
As we think about honoring grandmothers, we younger mothers need to think about honoring the Lord in our relationship with them. His Word says they are to delight in their grandchildren and they are to teach them God's ways. And so it is important for mothers to allow grandmothers to have this delight in their life by facilitating relationships with our children and their grandmothers, as far as they are interested.
We also need to realize that it is a tremendous blessing for them to help us instill God's ways in our children, but that it is not their responsibility and so we need to seek a good balance. We cannot blow the precious grandmother off, but we cannot overwork the sweet lady either.
Some wise ladies who are grandmothers themselves share with all of us their very helpful insight.
"Just love on them,” one grandmother says. “Remember you are not the parent. Try to support your children by carrying out their policies. Be a good helper. Recognize when they need their space and when they need your help. Follow the direction of the parents. Defer to them. Say to your grandchildren, 'We can do that if it's okay with Mom and Dad.'"
Another grandmother insightfully notes that many grandparents feel overworked and, "are not sure how to approach setting limits without fearing that would cause hard feelings," she says. "From my observation, the precedent is set from the enthusiasm over the first grandchild but gets old after the second or third. Aging makes the demands harder physically."
She also points out that we must trust God's hand in our children and grandchildren's lives. "Realize that what you observe may only be part of the picture if you're not around them every day. Pray for them and their parents."
A grandmother of 13 agrees: "It's very important not to lay heavy expectations on children or grands, opening one up to hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and distance between loved ones. Not taking every comment or an isolated situation personally seems helpful--extending lots of grace." She says it's important not to compare one grandchild with another, because "each is a unique personality, blessed with a specific set of gifts and abilities, and yes weakness just like their grandmother."
Another grandmother points out how quickly she learned that it’s your children, not your grandchildren, who you need to back up and be supportive of. “The grandchildren are off doing their own thing,” she says. “They are not necessarily going to be around or interested in a relationship with you as you get older. It’s your children who will be there for you.”
They all agree in the importance of praying for their grandchildren. One says as we trust God and His wisdom, "He smooths out the rough places."
And finally, a grandmother says, "Be patient and full of grace, laugh often, forgive quickly, implant God's Word in their hearts when they are young by memorizing Scripture with them, which shows them you place a high value on the Word of God and living out God's principles. After my own salvation and my joy in my marriage, as a grandmother there is no greater joy than to see our children and 'grands' walking in and seeking the Truth, and making wise choices in life."