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Handing Your Faith to Your Grandchild

These are a just a few ideas to help you take positive action when sharing your faith with your grandchildren.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

We all want to pass on a faith heritage to those we love. That includes handing down your faith to your grandchild. Even so, being a grandparent is complicated today. We no longer live in a society that automatically assumes being a Christian is a good thing.

Our society is mobile. It’s not uncommon to live miles away from our children and grandchildren, seeing them just once or twice a year. Even if we’re lucky enough to be nearby, the hustle and bustle of life can make regular visits a challenge.

Just recently I was having a conversation with a friend who was struggling. She had used the word truth in a conversation with her adult daughter. She was ridiculed for believing there is a single truth.

Her daughter believed truth is relative and truth depends on situations and viewpoints. This devastated my friend.

She and her husband had raised their daughter in a strong Christian environment, modeling true faith. The lies of the world had taken root in her daughter’s heart, leaving my friend feeling stuck in a seemingly impossible situation.

To keep the relationship intact, my friend backed off the argument. But she confessed that choice made her feel like a traitor to God for not standing firm. She wanted to speak truth to her grandchildren. However, she avoided confrontation to prevent being denied access.

The Difficult Path of Passing Down Our Faith

I prayed with my friend, asking God to help her navigate this difficult path. Then I assured her she wasn’t alone. I don’t know anyone in my friend group who hasn’t been faced with similar circumstances.

Many of us have adult children who believe very differently from us. While we’re rock solid in our beliefs, walking out the application of sharing those beliefs with family members can be a minefield. So how do we honor our commitment to God without cutting off communication with our unbelieving children and their kids?

Each situation is different and the only way we can navigate our own circumstance is by walking closely with God and letting the Holy Spirit be our guide. There is no single right answer. That said, there are some things we can consider doing to help us in the process of handing down our faith to our grandchildren.

Leave a Legacy of Faith for Your Grandchildren

  1. Pray. Pray. Pray.

    It’s important to ask God to give us the opportunity to talk about faith and model our own personal faith.vBeyond that, ask God for eyes to see the opportunities He is giving us.

  2. Model your own faith

    The adage, faith is caught, not taught has validity. There are also instances where grandparents have been asked not to talk about faith-based topics. In these circumstances what we do is even more important.

  3. Let your grandchildren know you’re praying for them.

    Don’t be shy to tell them you pray for them daily. And ask them how they’d like you to pray for them. Even young children will respond to this question and you’ll find that the earlier you begin asking, the more they’ll come to you and ask for prayer on their own initiative.

  4. Ask Questions

    Ask other questions about what they believe. Instead of lecturing, we should listen to what our grandchildren learn and believe about God. It’s easy to assume we know where they are in their faith journey, but assumptions are often wrong.

  5. Answer the questions they are asking.

    It’s easy to get ahead of the Holy Spirit by saying all the things we want our grandkids to know. But, especially if your grandchild doesn’t have much exposure to the Bible and God, we need to proceed slowly. When asked about God and/or your faith, listen to the question and follow that thread before introducing subjects of your own.

Find Ways to Enter Their World, And Bring Them Into Yours

  1. Share your heritage of faith. Many of us had parents or other family members who had a close relationship with Jesus. I’ve begun sharing stories about how I watched my grandparents praying and how much I loved going to church with them. Sharing stories about other family members is a powerful way to engage our grandkids. If you are one of many who don’t have a strong faith heritage, you can share stories from the Bible and talk about how we are all part of God’s family.
  2. Celebrate traditions. Consider the faith traditions you have in your family and begin there. But whether you have your own faith based traditions or not, there are lots of holiday traditions that have a faith foundation. Christmas is an obvious place to start. Dig deeper into the meaning of Christmas. Share the different stories of Santa Claus—to children old enough—like the beautiful story of Saint Nicolaus. Talk about the Christmas carols and hymns. Don’t stop with Christmas, look at the Easter holiday, Thanksgiving, and Saint Patrick’s Day.
  3. Explore the miracles of nature. This is a great conversation starter no matter how young or old your grandchild is. Kids are fascinated with bugs, animals, flowers, and trees.Talking about the miracles of God’s creation is a great way to have a faith conversation.
  4. Write letters and cards to your grandchildren. We live in a world of instant communication. Receiving a card or letter with a handwritten note is a powerful way to say, I love you, and share your faith at the same time.
  5. Start a regular text thread with your grandchild. If your grandchild is old enough to have a cell phone, open a regular text conversation with them. Share your activities, ask about their daily lives and include a one line prayer for them each day.

Leave a Legacy of Faith for Your Grandchildren

Consistency, with a foundation of love and respect will open many doors to model Jesus no matter what situation they’re in.

As you navigate the difficult path of handing down your faith to your grandchild, remember to pray with those around you in similar circumstances and consider starting a group of praying grandparents. Don’t lose heart. God is faithful and big things happen when we pray and let God open the doors.

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