I was in the lobby of the church yesterday, and overhead a conversation. Someone was talking about senior adults, and included a woman in the conversation as though she were a part of the “senior” crowd. She was not ready for the label yet. This woman is a grandmother, but was not ready for the label “senior” yet (I can understand because she is a young grandmother with a son still in high school). I was reading a book that quoted an old saying I had never heard before. The statement says,
God has no grandchildren
My generation (those who are mid 30’s to early 40’s), is having a major identity crisis. Several have married, and remarried, and are living with several kids (their own children and stepchildren). They are good parents, and great employees, but many seem to have little time for church attendance, and even less time to serve at church. In my discussions with them, they tell me where they are going to church. I’ll often follow up asking, “Why did you choose to attend church there?” The answer is often, “Well, that’s where my parents go.” Now, in my mind that simply says, “My parents will pay for my family’s lunch if I go to church with them!”. I’m not saying that is the motivation for all of them, but how often do we view God as the “God of our parents”? Many won’t say that, but their lives seem to display that. When our view of the church, and who God is to us personally, goes through the filter of our parents, we often regulate God to the role of “grandfather” in our lives. I have a child who is 18 months old now. He has 4 of the best grandparents in the world. They spoil him, they send him presents, they pray for him, they do everything they can to be a part of his life. They aren’t his parents. They won’t love him like I love him. They don’t understand him like I do. Don’t get me wrong, they have been around the block with several of their own kids, and have very wise counselor for me, but they can never take the place of his father in his life. The moment I first saw him, a connection like no other in my life was made. Scientifically speaking, he will never physically be anyone else’s son but mine. We have the opportunity to have a father/child relationship with God, but so often with Christians today, we choose to give God the “grandfather” role in our lives. Unfortunately, we risk having a whole generation whose only connection to God is through their parents. So when their parents pass away, or they move away from their family, God becomes like a distant relative to them. The problem is, God can NEVER be a grandparent. He is either our father, or we are not related. I’m doing my best to teach my child how to have a personal relationship with God every day. I want him to be my brother in his relationship with God, because that is the ONLY way he will be able to truly share in the inheritance God has planned for us one day.
Parents, and even Grandparents, ask specific questions of your kids every day. Start today, even if they aren’t so young anymore. Help guide them to developing a personal relationship with God, that doesn’t necessarily include you. 100 years from now, all that will matter in their lives is their relationship with God. Will He be their father, or will they stand in front of Him one day and realize that they aren’t even related?