November 19, 2021

Why We Love Grandparents

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5

When electrical engineers, Luigi and Claudia, found that they were going to be parents, they began thinking about the prospective grandparents they did not have, since all four of their natural parents were no longer living.  If you don’t have children and want one, you adopt one, right?  “Well,” they thought, “why not adopt grandparents?”  But Luigi and Claudia, who chose not to disclose their family name, decided to go for the best, which involved a kind of competitive bidding.

The search for grandparents began with an ad which read, “For a child to be born in October we are looking for adoptive grandparents.  Applicants must be gentle, serene, affectionate and patient.  Grandparents are most important.”  They had some restrictions, too.  The successful grandparents had to be no younger than 55 and no older than 70.  They were to have no other grandchildren who “could distract their love.” They also wanted them to be opposed to nuclear energy, retain the capacity to love untarnished, be calm, relaxed and available.

As applicants began taking a hard look at this whole matter, the couple discovered that legally, in Italy where they lived, grandparents cannot be adopted.  The situation in Italy goes beyond just having a nice couple to share holidays with.  Traditionally, couples keep parents in their homes when they are no longer able to care for themselves; but all of this has changed in recent years.

The couple seeking grandparents told a reporter who picked up on the story, “We just want our child to have the best of everything.”  I have no way of knowing whether Luigi and Claudia found the right grandparents for their child, but I couldn’t help thinking of how lifestyle and marriage patterns have changed in our generation.  In their search for grandparents, I see the sadness of how many natural grandparents there are who don’t “grandparent,” and how many kids there are in search of a grandparent with whom they can fly a kite, or go for a swim in the surf, or follow a trail through the woods.

Grandparents are a vital part of the family, not elderly citizens to be shuttled off to a retirement center awaiting the day when greedy family members can get their hands on the estate.  Consider the impact of a godly grandmother in the life of a grandchild.  Paul specifically mentions Timothy’s grandmother when he wrote his second letter to that young man. In Bible days, grandparents were a vital part of the household, and in societies where this practice is still observed, juvenile delinquency and crime are drastically lower than in societies where grandparents have little or no contact with grandchildren.

More than a few grandparents write to us telling us of grandchildren who have no respect for them and want nothing from them apart from their money.  For them, today’s program is much too little and much too late, but for you who have grandchildren but have had little time for them, today’s program may well serve as some incentive to make yourself available.  My life was influenced by godly grandparents, and my children have been fortunate enough to be profoundly influenced by their grandparents.

Some of you, like Luigi and Claudia, have not been close enough to spend much time with your parents, but you can adopt some who can help provide the love, guidance, and prayers that only a grandparent can give.  Because you can’t give everything, don’t deprive a youngster of what you can give.  You see, grandparenting can be rewarding. It’s well worth the time and effort that it takes.


Resource reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-12