What does the Bible say about grandparenting? Picture of grandmother with granddaughter.

What Does the Bible Say About Grandparenting?

What does the Bible say about grandparenting?

One of the standout verses on grandparenting is aptly found in an Old Testament poem: “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green” Psalm 92:14.

Notice how the word “grandparenting” isn’t used in this verse. That’s not unusual. Most references in the Bible to grandparenting are linked to descriptive phrases like “father’s father,” “son’s son,” “children’s children,” “old age,” or “next generation,” and to synonyms like “ancestors,” or “forefathers.”

So, with this in mind, and taking into account the general tenor of Scripture, what does the Bible say about grandparenting?

Key Texts

Here are six key texts:

1. Grandparenting is cultivating the faith formation of two or more generations.

“Teach them (God’s Word) to your children and to their children after them” Deuteronomy 4:9b (NIV).

2. Grandparenting is telling successive generations about the works and wonders of the Lord.

“We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done” Psalm 78:4b (NIV).

3. Grandparenting is modelling how to obey God’s Word.

“Fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long” Deuteronomy 6:2 (ESV).

4. Grandparenting is teaching (training and guiding) children and grandchildren in the way of the Lord.

“He commanded our ancestors to teach them (God’s laws and instructions) to their children, so the next generation might know them – even the children not yet born – and they in turn will teach their own children.Psalm 78:5-6 (NLT).

5. Grandparenting is leaving a physical and spiritual inheritance for grandchildren.

“A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children” Proverbs 13:22 (NIV).

6. Grandparenting is leaving a legacy for a generation we won’t meet.

“So the next generation would know them (God’s Word), even the children yet to be born” Psalm 78:6 (NIV).

The ultimate aim of grandparenting is the salvation and sanctification of successive generations (cf. Psalm 78:7). For this to happen, grandparents must not be stubborn or rebellious (cf. Psalm 78:8) but rather aim to live a Christ-centered life worthy of imitation (cf. 1 John 2:6). The good news is that God enables you to be a good grandparent: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you” Isaiah 46:4 (NIV).

Grandparenting matters! The biblical roles of grandmothers and grandfathers are essential for the spiritual health and well-being of the family. So, don’t insulate or isolate yourself from what God wants to do in and through you. Aim to make a contribution in your senior years. In as much as you have health, strength, and opportunity, nurture the faith formation of younger generations.

God never puts us on the shelf – never! We should “come to the grave in full vigour” Job 5:26. So pursue what God prioritizes, and as you do, pray this text: “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come” Psalm 71:18 (NIV).

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© Scripture Union, 2023

2 Corinthians 4:5


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