As parents and grandparents, we often find ourselves giving our children all kinds of gifts. We may purchase toys or games or special treats. As pleasant and as purposeful as these gifts may be at times, there are four gifts that we can give our children and grandchildren that will last a lifetime and that will have eternal impact on their lives. These gifts are instruction, discipline, blessing, and example.
Let’s take a closer look at each one:
1—Instruction (Deuteronomy 4: 9; Ephesians 6: 4)
The Word of God commands us to teach our children and grandchildren to know God. Deuteronomy 4: 9 admonishes us as follows:
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children” (Deuteronomy 4: 9).
Ephesians 6: 4 states this: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
God’s Word makes very clear our responsibility as parents and grandparents to instruct our children and grandchildren in the ways and purposes of God.
2—Discipline (Proverbs 19: 18)
“Discipline your child while there is hope” (Proverbs 19: 18). This verse implies that one day, there may no longer be hope, for the time to discipline will have run out.
Years ago I had to go to court for a minor accident in which a truck broadsided my car. While awaiting my trial, I witnessed the hearing of a young man who had committed a serious crime.
As the young man stood before the judge to receive his sentence, the young man’s mother stood beside him. When the judge pronounced the young man guilty, his mother tearfully began to cry out to the judge, bombarding him with all kinds of excuses for her son’s wrongful behavior and begging the judge to give her son another chance.
As I watched this very sad situation, I realized that the young man was found guilty because his mother did not correct him when he was a child. She continually made excuses for his bad behavior and was doing so again. So now, here stood her son, paying a huge price for his mother’s lack of correction. This mother had not disciplined her son while there was still hope for him to live a law-abiding life.
3—Blessing (Genesis 48: 9; Numbers 6: 22-27)
Throughout the Old Testament, we find examples of fathers and grandfathers blessing their children and grandchildren. This is a wonderful practice that you can use with your own children and grandchildren.
Years ago, I read a wonderful book called The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley. The book describes the ancient Jewish practice of blessing one’s offspring. This blessing was generally carried out by the father or the grandfather of the family.
One of the best things you can do for your children and grandchildren is to bless them. Set aside a special time with each child to lay your hands on that child and to bless him or her. Ask Holy Spirit how to bless each of your children and grandchildren. Holy Spirit has a unique blessing for each child and will give you the right words to speak over your child.
This time of blessing will have a profound and lasting impact on the hearts of your children and grandchildren. It may even prove to be a defining moment in which God’s calling on their lives is imparted to them through your laying on of hands.
4—Example (2 Timothy 1: 5)
Timothy’s mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois were outstanding examples of Godly living in Timothy’s life. Our children and grandchildren need us to be similar examples in their lives.
Children watch what we do more than they heed what we say. Example, therefore, is the greatest teacher. Do you want your children or grandchildren to imitate the way you act and speak? Or does the way you act and speak leave room for improvement?
It has been said that the biggest room in the world is the Room for Improvement. Will you join me in that room—for the good of our children and our grandchildren?
May we who have been given the great responsibility of raising up the next generation in the nurture and admonition of the Lord be found faithful in fulfilling this great mandate that comes straight from the heart of God Himself.
May we give our children and grandchildren the gifts that will last not only for a lifetime but for all eternity.
Copyright 2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is a widely published, award-winning author of fiction for both children and adults. Her latest children’s book, The Dandelion Patch, was published by TopNotch Press and deals with the topic of Eminent Domain. MaryAnn and her husband are the blessed parents of two awesome daughters and the delighted grandparents of five rambunctious grandchildren. You may learn more about MaryAnn at www.maryanndiorio.com and at www.maryanndiorioministries.com.