Reflections by the Sea
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”[ Ephesians 6:1-3 NIV
I like the book of Ephesians in the Bible. Six short chapters but filled with guidelines and the “do’s and don’ts of Christian living. For me, it is the book of the Bible that puts in all in order. We are guided as to our relationship and obedience to God, our relationship to the church, our spouses and children. Chapter 6 begins by telling the children to obey their parents for it is right. In my youth I tried to do what I was told but didn’t always like it. I thought that my parents enjoyed controlling my actions and my thinking. And I was quick to dream of what it would be like when I could do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. Well, that is overrated. ‘Know that now – ‘didn’t know that then!! Actually this command to obey our parents is part of God’s law. Children need wisdom, guidance, structure, discipline and most of all a good, godly example to follow. Anyone that attempts to undermine this most important relationship between parent and child is going against God. Grandparents sometimes do this and it teaches the child to be disobedient or to not trust their parents. It plants seeds of doubt in the mind of the child. God set up the order of things and we are to follow if we are to be obedient. We are blessed to have grandparents that honor parents and love the children. That is how it should be.
Growing up, it was my relationship with my grandparents that sustained me at times. Our time together was short but the memories everlasting. I always knew that when I could be a grandparent, I would model myself after my dear grandmother that I called, Nanny. She taught me about God, we drew pictures of Jesus from old church bulletins, she walked with me along the beach and we picked up sticks of driftwood for the evening fire. It is no wonder I love the beach so much. It represents unconditional love.
Now that I am a grandparent myself I must choose my words and actions carefully. To not cross boundaries, undermine the parents’ authority, to respect them and their parenting and to be silent when things may not be my business. I raised my children and am proud of what my husband and I did. It is now my children’s turn to raise their families. I must always remember my place and that is one of support to both parents and grandchildren. My grandchildren are loved, adored, disciplined and encouraged to be the best they can be.
Grandparents are the most trusted and cherished group of people ever!! It is with good reason. Grandparents love without condition. They overlook the latest trend, trying to see the person inside that is searching so hard to find an identity. They give freely and expect nothing. They offer serenity and a peace that only comes with experience and wisdom for the years that they have lived. Grandparents can be the towering lighthouse in the family with the light of love and God that protects everyone. I believe our only job as a grandparent is to be sure our grandchildren see God’s Light shining through us in the way we love them and honor their parents, treat them, and care for them and nurture their family. Is there any grandparent that has never prayed with their grandchild? Do it. It is the sweetest voice in the world to hear a child talk to God.
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