I entered a new phase of life this week. With the birth of a precious baby girl, Emerald, I became a grandmother. She is healthy and beautiful, a perfect blend of her lovely mom and handsome dad, the product of their love.
As I held this little jewel and looked into her serene face, I thought about her heritage, her parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and beyond. While she possesses their genetic traits, in some ways, she also has the heritage of their attitudes, actions, and their faith. I thought about the influence I will have on this little life and the importance of leaving a legacy of love, support, and faithfulness.
While I was blessed to grow up in a loving family and extended family, many weren’t. But it is incumbent on the current generation to break the cycle of any negativism, criticism, hatred, or malice propagated by the generation before.
Here are some things I want to pass on to my grandchildren:
A Love for God and County
My children grew up hearing my mother sing to them. Among her frequent vocals were “Amazing Grace” and “God Bless America.” Today, an attitude of criticism for our country and its leaders exists and many have done all they can to erase God from even a mention in this land of the free and home of the brave. I want my grandchildren to grow up in a country where they are free to believe and practice their faith without being ridiculed. I also hope they will pray for and be supportive of our country and its leaders.
The Benefits of Waiting and Persistence
On the surface, waiting and persistence seem in diametric opposition. Waiting means holding back while persistence means forging on. What the two have in common is self-control, something that is in short supply with most people today. We are a society that acts on impulse, but also we are a people who often look for shortcuts, skipping important parts of the process, and then giving up when things don’t turn out as expected. I want my grandchildren to develop the kind of self-control that teaches them to wait, weighing consequences, praying for guidance, and seeking wisdom from mature mentors before making choices that forever alter their path. I want them to learn to deny self, delay gratification, and deter tempters. On the flip side, I want them to learn the benefits of setting goals, working toward them, and not giving up when they encounter obstacles.
The Need to Honor and Respect
If ever we lived in a time of dishonor and disrespect, it is now. Children do not honor or respect parents. The masses disregard authority, and those who clamor for respect for all, often respect only those of whom they approve. I want succeeding generations to learn honor and respect by example. That will only happen if they see these qualities modeled.
The Joy of Encouragement and Hope
Some children grow up under the oppression of criticism in a household of anger and negativism. They experience inconsistent rules and brutal discipline, far greater than the infraction warrants. Or children grow up with no discipline or structure at all. The result is anxious, angry, defiant adults. How much more beneficial to spend time encouraging gifts and talents, applauding positive behavior, and teaching the consequences (positive and negative) of actions. Let the legacy passed on to the next generation be one of hope and encouragement.
The Blessings of Faith
Today, many people don’t feel faith is a necessary part of their lives and they leave it up to their children to discover faith, if they so choose. We all encounter numerous challenges and difficulties in life, circumstances that seem unbearable. Faith makes a difference. It provides a stable foundation when our world crumbles around us. Faith is the anchor that holds secure in the storms of life. What parent, or grandparent, would not attempt a rescue of the next generation by at least throwing them the life preserver of faith? The world isn’t going to teach the blessings and benefits of faith. If anything, it will condemn people of faith. It is up to us to teach the next generations the blessings of faith.
“And in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” Genesis 22:18 ESV
More could be added to the list, but a precious little bundle is waiting to be held, little ears are open to whispers of love, and a sweet relationship is on the cusp of being formed. It’s never too soon, or too late, to begin speaking wisdom, truth, encouragement, and love into the next generation.
“For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Psalm 100:5 NLT
It is incumbent on the current generation to encourage and support the next generation. @CandyArrington