Grandparenting: A High and Holy Calling

Grandparenting: A High and Holy Calling

Mothering is the calling and the gift that came to me even though I did not have either the wisdom or the optimism to pray for it. Twenty-four years into the journey, I’m still learning, and my kids are good teachers. Because my husband and I were “late bloomers” in a part of the world where people tend to marry and start their families early, quite a few of our friends had already become grandparents while we were still up to our fetlocks in parenting. Even after our oldest son married, the idea of becoming a grandparent was nowhere on my radar — and then my first grandchild was born.

Made in the express image and likeness of his dad, my grandson was instantly “knowable” and soon became a kindred spirit. Together we’ve spread paint on paper and on popsicle sticks; we’ve made cookies and craft projects and played in the snow. Our long walks through the woods with the dog or down the road with the stroller have made him a toddler-ace at identifying flowers and making conversation with the neighbor’s donkey.

Resources for Grandparents-in-Training

Like his dad and his uncles, my grandson is also a good teacher. However, even after the birth of his baby sister, I’m well aware that I’m still a grandmother-in-training.

Phyllis and Andrew LePeau have provided a Life Guide Bible Study that encourages me to open the Word of God and to step into its wise instruction for grandparenting well. In Grandparenting: Loving Our Children’s Children (Lifeguide Bible Studies), the LePeaus have a light touch, likely cultivated by their own 13 grands.  And since, in their opinion, “grandchildren are the reward for not killing your kids,” I want to learn from both the positive and the negative Biblical examples so I can be a blessing to future generations.

According to the study, the greatest blessing we can give to our grandchildren is a solid relationship with their parents. We bless them well by layering our affection, our time, our prayers, and our teaching about God on top of what their parents are trying to do. Analyzing the content of Old Testament blessings reminds me of the importance of my words (spoken and written), of expressing high value for their little lives, of picturing a special future for them, and of making an active commitment to their good.

When viewed through the lens of loving our children by loving their children, the story of Ruth becomes a lesson in accepting my daughters-in-law as if they were my own children. Isaac and Rebekah’s regretful favoritism becomes a cautionary tale about multi-generational dysfunction. Jesus’ teaching about forgiveness is the lubricant that prevents a family’s relational gears from grinding and wearing. The little known story of Barzillai, aide to King David, offers wisdom about stepping aside and giving adult children the gifts of freedom and encouragement.

The profound sacredness of loving our children and their children leads to a role that is fun, challenging, and necessary. Michele Howe asserts that There’s a Reason They Call It Grandparenting , and then goes on to distinguish between run of the mill grandparents and GRAND parents:

“A grandparent seeks to pack a positive punch of biblical influence into their grandchildren’s lives. They prayerfully seek out the most effective ways to lend a hand to their adult children in both practical and fun ways. They don’t simply seek to spoil their grandchildren with good times or material extras . . . The wise grandparent will do everything they can to demonstrate and illustrate the love of Jesus Christ to their grandchildren. . . . Grandparents understand how fleeting life is and proactively look for divine opportunities to point their grandchildren to Jesus.”

Grand Ideas for Maximum Impact

Howe expands on her definition with practical counsel around hospitality, relationship building, and unconditional love. “Grand Ideas” at the end of each chapter provide support and inspiration for offering spiritual instruction. Cheering on our grandchildren is a priority whether they live close by or even if distance adds to the challenge.

  • Set aside time and money and energy to invest in that all-important relationship. Make the most of every opportunity to connect.
  • Become a student of your grandchild’s uniqueness so you’ll know their love language and how to communicate with them.
  • Listen with patience to their struggles and successes. Let them know you have their full attention and support.
  • Get creative in engineering opportunities to be with your grandchildren; e.g. picking them up from school, shuttling them to their activities.
  • Never stop praying for any of your grandkids — and their parents.
  • In challenging seasons of family life, be a safe haven. On a fallen planet, illness, divorce, and struggles with addiction can be devastating, but a caring grandparent can provide stability.

The opportunity to have an impact on another generation is a humbling privilege. Working to be a transforming influence in the lives of our children’s children is an investment in our family’s future and a journey that is sure to keep a grandparent’s faith vibrant and growing.


I have begun to experiment with including an Amazon affiliate link here in my book reviews. If you should decide to purchase  Grandparenting: Loving Our Children’s Children (Lifeguide Bible Studies) or There’s a Reason They Call It Grandparenting click on the title here, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

These books were provided by the publishers in exchange for my review.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, two grandchildren, and one lazy St. Bernard. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

64 thoughts on “Grandparenting: A High and Holy Calling”

  1. I’d like to read this book Michele, thanks for the review and your perspective on being a grandmother. There are 10 grandchildren aged 2-9 between my husband and I. Each one, special and unique in their own way. I can’t imagine the joy I would have missed had I not had this opportunity. However, I’m still learning, just like you, and could use all the help I can get. Thank you. ~ Abby

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  2. FYI, grandparenting, like any other human condition, is an organic experience. It is born and then evolves. I was only 45 when my first grand came and added onto and into my life. I had so much energy. There isn’t space enough to list all the things we did together. He will soon turn 26. A grown man. College degreed – our closeness is forevermore established. He still comes to talk.

    Recently my daughter, his mother, commented that she wished her youngest son could have the same experiences with me that his older brother and sister had – the crazy adventures. I nodded in agreement because I had already had those kinds of thoughts myself and had to make peace with the reality that, while I still do as much as I am able, my abilities are sorely limited by my advancing age now. No more traveling puppet shows, no more building forts. My younger grands – they will not know the Meema I was to the ones who came first. No one warned me about that inevitability but I might not have believed it anyway.

    Sorry for the ramble – this hit a tender spot.

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    1. I’ve had this thought as well, Meema, because we saw it with my own mother-in-law. Our kids came at the end of her life, so she loved them dearly, but was really pretty limited in how much she could enjoy doing things with them. Our last two have no memory of her at all.
      Another factor that comes into play is numbers. Right now I have only just the one grandboy to interact with, so he gets me all to himself. There’s a little sister in the wings who will soon be big enough to do things with, and with four sons, we could end up with grandchild nation, all needing time and attention. That’s going to make a difference in the way i manage things — along with this aging carcass.
      I really appreciated this “ramble,” so thanks for sharing it.

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  3. One of my God-sized dreams was being a delightful grandparent. My grandkids are now 16, 14, ad 13. We enjoy time together now because I worked on developing a relationship when they were young. I always had a “Nana cupboard” where I kept appropriate books and toys, puzzles, and games for them. We cook together, go on dates, and still play board games and talk about life and Jesus.

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    1. Oh . . . the “Nana cupboard.” I love that. One of the suggestions from the books was to make space for our grandkids so they know they are welcome, and I was puzzling over how to do that. Thanks for this idea. Brainstorming now how to do a “Bam cupboard.”

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  4. Michele,
    What great books on grandparenting. I like the comment about “being a positive punch of Biblical influence,” in the lives of your grandchildren. In a broken world, we CAN add stability and have more time to be students of our grandchildren. I am not one yet, but am looking forward to that day!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Yes, it’s a great role for so many reasons. I was encouraged to focus more on that teaching role with my little guy. I was all about that with my own kids, and need to recapture some of that energy for another round.

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  5. No one in my family are terribly religious so I can’t really relate to the biblical aspects of this. Having said that, I am extremely close with my mother’s parents and they have been a never ending source of wisdom and guidance throughout my life and I’d be lost without them. Good work on a well written piece 🙂

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    1. I’m just now finding this comment, but wanted to let you know how touching it is to me to hear that your grandparents had such an impact on your life. I want to be that kind of influence and help to my kids and their kids. Blessings to you, and thanks for weighing in here.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing these resources, Michele. I’m always on the lookout for great Biblically based materials for grandparents! I’ll be picking these up soon and sharing your post with my grandparenting tribe! Blessings!

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  7. These both sound like wonderful resources. Unfortunately the only books I have read “by grandparents for grandparents” were awful – one very poorly written and both off-base spiritually. But I am going to put both of these on my TBR list. I especially appreciate the “light touch” mentioned of the one.

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  8. Dear Michele,
    I loved your thought here: “The opportunity to have an impact on another generation is a humbling privilege.” But then when I read Meema’s comment, a chord was struck in me too! I’ve had to radically change my lifestyle because of Chronic Illness, and already cannot do many of the things I was able to do just 5 years ago. But when the Lord combined your thoughts here, and my post today about the Grandmother that I never even met, but am still reaping the rewards of her Godly prayers–wow. What a true “humbling privilege” I have with my grandchildren, as I lift them up in prayer. Thank you for sharing these precious words (and this beautiful community of comment-ors) here! Just what I needed today.

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    1. Just as I said in our book discussion groups, so often the best part of a blog post is found in the comments. And I always enjoy the glimpses I get on FB and in your writing of your grandmotherly love for some pretty special kids. So glad you are part of this blogging community!

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  9. I know you won’t be surprised that I agree about grandparenting being a high and worthy calling indeed!! The points noted in your review are very true. I’ve been a grandmother now for an astonishing 23 years (Hard to believe since I am such a “young” woman.) There was a great deal to learn and a need to be creative about how to connect and develop a relationship with a beautiful red-haired little girl who lived 520 miles away. Looking at our relationship now I see ways we connect that are different than with my other 5 grandchildren because of what I learned about her and what she has learned about me. We both love musical theater and Jane Austin, Downton Abbey and romantic movies. She loves tea…a lovely pot of something brewed in a pretty pot and served in a lovely cup. This Christmas I added to her new china tea pot set with a cup and saucer and added some teas I thought she would enjoy: Sleigh Ride, Walnut and Orange Scone, and White Cranberry Bark. She texted me just other night when she got home from working the night shift at St. Elizabeth Midtown in Nashville as a BSN with pic of the tea she was brewing before she hit the sack. She has also reached out to me as a teen and young adult with tidbits of her life allowing me to share encouragement, a bit of wisdom, and lots of love even from 520 miles away.

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    1. Hmmm . . .those teas sound amazing, and so does your grand girl. You’ve been grandparenting almost as long as I’ve been parenting, so you are certainly not a grandmother in training anymore! (Although, knowing you, I’m sure you are still improving.) Your description of your relationship with your granddaughter over the miles makes me so thankful for my tiny grandgirl and hopeful for a wonderful future with her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those teas ARE delish!! They come from David’s Teas. Check out their website sometime. I hope I’m improving. Each new stage and season for each of them gives me new ways to be creative. Those in college give me their semester schedules and I routinely hear about big exams or projects to pray for. Every season has new discoveries 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is beautiful, Michele! Though, I did have to look up fetlock. I’d heard it before but never had been sure what it was! LOL I feel blessed that both my mother and my mother are fine examples of GRAND parents. Many blessings to you as you impart your wealth your children and grandchildren!

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    1. So glad to know that you are blessed by a couple of really great GRAND parents.
      And isn’t “up to my fetlocks” just a great way of describing the overwhelm of parenting? I picture a horse floundering in deep snow.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this post because I so love being a Mimi. You have shared beautifully on the importance of our relationships not only with our grandchildren, but with their parents and with our God. I plan on checking out both of these books and appreciated reading your review.

    And the photo of you and your grandson … precious!

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    1. He’s grown up so much since that picture, and now he has a little sister who spent last evening in my lap. Sigh. What a privilege!
      Thanks, Joanne, for your own clear love for this all-important role!

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  12. All I can say is that I cannot wait for the day my son’s start their own families. I can only imagine the joy and fun I will have. You always seem to review such good books. Thank you for sharing this one.

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  13. Michele, that photo of you with your grandson is precious! Like you, my hubs and I started late. I have friends who are younger than I am who are grandparents already. Most days, I just pray that we make it through the day with our teens. 😉 But, I have also prayed for their wives, who will one day be my “daughter-in-loves.”

    I’ve been blessed to have my parents fairly close by. They’ve always been willing to take our boys for the weekend so my Hubs and I can take a weekend away every now and then. They create memories with our boys that are a gift to me, and hopefully will be to them, as well.

    These sound like great books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, parenting teens is a challenge, and I think that’s why my grandmother status took me by surprise. And there are days when it definitely feels as if I’m trying to ride two bicycles at once, but I’m learning when to say “no” to some things and also just to enjoy the ride!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Looking forward to the day that I have the honor of becoming a grandparent. My oldest (28) is having problems conceiving, but working on it…lol! My middle (22) has no intention right now and the youngest (16) still has a few years to go!

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  15. As I await a phone call any day now on word of pending labor for my daughter, this book looks like a great read. Can’t wait to get my first grandchild here and letting this process begin! 🙂

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  16. I have found grandparenting to be one of the greatest joys in life, although there have been times when it’s challenging like any other kind of relationship. We have 13 grandchildren. 3 are married and 1 about to be married. So we are being blessed with their children, as well. There’s nothing like a baby in the house!

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  17. Michele that sounds like a great book. Like you, we were late bloomers not of our choice but God’s and lots of miscarriages, and then our kids have been late bloomers marrying later and then infertility and miscarriages. We are involved though as old as we are and they keep us young. We have 5 grandkids 4 and under and 3 are 10 months old. Baby girl is on the way for the day and her crawling all over the house will keep me active. HA!

    I remember praying that I would live to see my children grow up. Now that’s my prayer to see our grandchildren grow up so they will remember.

    Great post!!

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    1. Yes, it takes me about three days to restore our house to its normal level of chaos after a visit from the grand boy. But we do have fun!
      And I’ve found that my desire to be fully present for him and his sister and future grandies motivates me to get out for that daily walk and to be more mindful about self care.

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  18. My oldest is 22 and I have no need to be a grandma just yet. 🙂 But, oh when that day comes, I pray I do it justice. I love the idea of not spoiling, but showing them Jesus. I’m sure you’re a “grand” parent, Michele. Those babies are blessed to have you. 🙂 — P.S.) I had to look up what a fetlock was, haha. 🙂 xoxo

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  19. Michele, This looks like a great read! Especially as I am embarking on 10 days with my granddaughter who will be staying with us while my daughter and son-in-law go on a second honeymoon to Cabo San Lucas. I bought all kinds of crafts and activities to keep us busy. 🙂

    I love the idea of the high calling of a grandparent in coming along side our children in the raising up of these precious little ones.

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  20. Hi Michele! I’m constantly learning from my darling grandson. I’ve learned to slow down and enjoy the moment when I am with him. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us at #BloggersPitStop and have a beautiful week.

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    1. Yes, we slow down and we speed up all at the same time when our grandchildren are nearby. I never get much done that’s on my all-powerful “list,” but I am always very well entertained!

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