I never knew my grandparents when I was growing up. They lived back East and I grew up here in the valley. I’m sorry about that. It was my father’s fault because we moved out here and he put little effort to stay close to the grandparents.
My mother, a Christian, was the healthy link between families, but with 7 children, it is neither cheap nor easy to do cross-country trips. It was my father’s failure. I do remember a few times Grandma came out for a visit, but with little time and too many kids, I didn’t experience bonding.
Are you a grandfather? If you aren’t, and you have children, you probably will be grandpa sometime. We are like our parents but because of Jesus’s blood, we are freed from the bondage of the slavery of sin. We can be different from our parents.
My father did not honor his parents, which is a command. I don’t want to get into that, but I have made a commitment to be involved with my grandchildren, even when it hurts. We need to love God and our neighbors. My grandkids are back east, in Texas and next door.
I was blessed recently when I invited my 11-year-old grandson to make a 1,200 mile trip to Montana to stay in my brother-in-law’s cabin at Georgetown Lakes. We had a great trip and it was some good male bonding. It was an opportunity for quality time, both for us and for him and his uncle and his extended family.
It was fun to watch him catch his first fish, and a beautiful trout it was! It was also cool to hear him pray over dinner when asked to by his uncle.
I have made mistakes as a parent. Being a grandparent isn’t a “do-over” but an opportunity to do my best with the next generation. I looked in my Bible for grandparent/grandchild stories and I couldn’t find much.
A friend found in Proverbs 13:22 “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.” Inheritance can be wealth, but in Promise keepers the real inheritance is the legacy, love and learning that we put into the grandkids.
There are many great grandparent stories in the real world. A good read are the “Chicken Soup” books, which are many short vignettes about faith and relationships. There are many grandparent stories, and there is even Chicken Soup for the Grandparent’s Soul. I have a copy and it is a great read. I brought a copy of Chicken Soup for the Children’s Soul and we spent some time together before bed one night. It was a precious memory for me and I hope for him.
At the end of the Gospels, it says, “Go make disciples” and a good way is a road trip with your grandchildren. The word disciple means to teach and what a better way than to get away from the world and just drive. We had many conversations about sports, music, God’s creation and life in general.
You really don’t need to wait until you are a grandparent to go. It is hard to do road trips with a car full of kids, but if you can spend some extended quality time, one-on-one with any of your children, I say go for it.
I am lucky to have a wife who supports my wandering ways. Just a few suggestions: Start out with shorter, maybe day trips, before you do a marathon. We were gone for 8 days. Also begin the trip with a discussion of rules so there is structure to help it be a better trip. We agreed to take turns on the radio. I like Christian and he liked his music.
We are mid-summer so there is still time for your road trip. If not this summer, plan for next year.
This trip was planned by the Holy Spirit a couple of years ago, and once again the spirit is a great travel agent! God bless you and your families as you travel this summer.