Twice each year we set the table for a shared teaching for grandparents who desire to share their faith with their grandchildren with intentionality. Why?
- The average age of a first-time grandparent in the US is 47 years old.
- Biblical command from Deuteronomy 4:9 ‘teach my commands to your children and your children’s children….’
With summer just around the corner time with our grands will look different, so we offered these suggestions and used them for conversational prompts to fill the 90-minute workshop time together. With snacks, of course!
This summer, let’s begin by ‘marking your home.’ Every faith tradition expects there to be visual elements and more to help the devout practice their faith in their home. Think of the prayer corner of a practicing Hindu, a prayer rug of a practicing Muslim, or a statuary of the Mother Mary of a practicing Catholic. What sensory elements, using all five senses, do we provide to mark our homes as a Christian home? Ideas: visual elements like our Bible, scripture (not in cursive) on artwork, appealing artwork of Jesus; smell elements like ‘we light this vanilla candle when we pray’ or baking bread; windchimes to hear as ‘the wind’ passes (can’t see the wind, but we know it’s presence…like the Holy Spirit); drink water because our great God created our bodies to work well when hydrated, etc.
Let’s hike together – Explore a waterfall, walk a prayer labyrinth, discover a local cemetery, or stroll through your neighborhood pointing out the creativity of our great God. And give that kid a stick!
Let’s cook together – Pick those strawberries and blueberries or pick up some at a local fresh food market to enjoy the sense of taste and smell offered by our great God.
Let’s grow stuff together – It’s a miracle that we can plant seeds and stuff pops up out of the ground when the Lord provides water and sunlight. Photosynthesis is a miracle and leaf colors are made real because of the wisdom of our great God. Go ahead and get that seeded watermelon and linger to talk of gardens, foods, planting, and the partnership of water, sun, and good soil as you poke those seeds. And seed-spitting competition!
Let’s read together – Read books together, especially biographies of people who endured hardships as they depended on the Lord in prayer and provision like Elisabeth Elliot, Samuel Morse, Prudence Crandall, John Wesley, Corrie Ten Boom, etc.
Let’s play games together – Otrio is our family favorite because if a kid can play tic-tac-toe, they can play, and probably beat you, in a short amount of time. It plays quickly. I learned to play Rummy, War, and Crazy Eights with a deck of cards my grandmother gave me and we played all the time. When I spent my tween-year summers with my Grandmother, she taught me how to play solitaire and properly shuffle a deck of cards. Learning to follow the rules of a game (builds trust) reminds us that God has rules for us to live by together and He is trustworthy. Learning to properly shuffle a deck of cards, I learned I can do hard things if I take the time to practice. And boy, does summer give us time to practice!
Let’s learn together – Want to know what are the stickiest and most impactful pieces of faith formation to repeat and know? The Apostle’s Creed (What do Christians believe?), The Lord’s Prayer (How do Christians pray?), and the 10 Commandments (How do Christians live out our faith in Jesus with one another in community and relationship?) In our home, we have artwork with all three pieces on the wall, on the stair landing, and on a displayed dish.
Let’s share together – Share with your grand what you are learning about Jesus in your Sunday school class, small group, prayer group. Share with your grand, and introduce them to the folks who walk your faith journey with you regularly.
Let’s worship together – Invite them to worship with you in your sanctuary and at our June Thursday family VBS parking lot service this summer!
What’s on your summer bucket list as you prepare to intentionally share your faith with your grandchildren?
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deuteronomy 4:9
Previous posts of sharing your faith with your grands can be found here.