A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:22,24 NIV
God–in His infinite Wisdom–addressed every situation we would encounter in life–being a parent and a grandparent. This is why we should–not just read The Word, but study it so living life won’t frustrate us.
I’m veering a little today to discuss parenting, children and grandchildren–seeking to reflect upon what I’ve done and what I should do. I’m in one of those unique situations in which I’m a grandparent, raising my grandson–doing the “grand parenting” thing so many of us do.
First of all, the one thing that most parents discover–if they have more than one child–is that parenting is a special task–that eludes instructions–from all, but God. And when a parent doesn’t have a relationship with God, they miss the mark and parent by trial and error. What most realize is that no two children (not even twins, triplets, or more) are exactly alike. They develop their own personalities and defy any logic to make them “fit” any mold. So, parenting with its many obstacles becomes a great training ground for many of us–learning things we never thought we’d have to do.
And if we thought parenting was fun–grand parenting–is a riot! Not only do we discover what we missed while parenting, we get to complete the cycle all over again–without the benefit of spoiling the kid and then sending them home. Now–if the grandchild is living with us–we have to discipline as well as spoil. It’s truly a balancing act–especially going through the teenage cycle, again.
The bottom line–in this short reflection–is that raising a grandchild can be a blessing or a nightmare. It is a blessing when the child in question understands the magnitude of the role the grand parent is in and a nightmare when they don’t. At this point in time–I’m trying to find a middle ground so I can continue to enjoy being a grandmother and yet raise a responsible, respectful young man–who can stay focused on goals to make sure his life is worthwhile.
Here’s what I’ve discovered–we must–at all costs–raise children as God has said–no matter how much we love them, we must stand firm in our resolve when we mete out discipline and love ’em at the same time. The benefit for us–a chance to mold a child’s future–again. The benefit for them–an opportunity to receive the inheritance many of us have planned for our children’s children.
Of course–if the grandchild chooses not to be the responsible, respectful young person God desires for us to have in our presence, then the child gets the reward they deserve–the consequences of their behavior.
Loving living this life to the fullest–and still learning what I almost learned fifty years ago–praying my way through to its end.