The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NLT).
What kind of parent and/or grandparent does God want you to be? The first thing we need to know is that God wants us to be parents/grandparents who are committed wholeheartedly to His Word. Now why is that important? Why is God’s Word the starting point for what God wants to accomplish in parents/grandparents? Because the Word is life (John 1:1-4), it’s where we meet God and He meets us, and because it informs our daily thinking and actions.
If our children/grandchildren are going to know fullness of life, they must know Christ and know His Word. In order for children/grandchildren to know the Word they need to see parents/grandparents as living epistles. That is, they need to see parents/grandparents embodying the Word in the things they say and do. This should include children seeing us studying the Word, talking about the Word, meditating on the Word, and living out the Word.
That said, the parents/grandparents we want to be aren’t always the parents/grandparents we turn out to be. While we may want the Word to be paramount in our homes, there are times when our attitudes and actions fall short of our intent. That’s why it’s crucial for us to also depend on the power of the Holy Spirit. “He who has the Holy Spirit in his heart and the Scriptures in his hands has all he needs,” says Alexander Maclaren.
We can never become the parents/grandparents God wants us to be if we try to do it in our own strength. Ephesians 5:18 says, “… let the Holy Spirit fill and control you” (NLT). If we’re to rise to our fullest stature as parents/grandparents and if we’re to be powerful influences in our children’s/grandchildren’s lives, we can’t rely on our personalities, skill, pedigree, intellect, financial means or experience. These things will never be enough. Priority must be given to regularly reading and reflecting on God’s Word as well as praying and asking God to fill us with His Spirit. For when we do these things God gives us the wisdom, patience, self-control, grace, spirit of generosity and everything else we need to be the parents/grandparents God wants us to be.