Jenifer and I were thrilled to learn a few weeks ago that our oldest daughterLindsey is pregnant. She and her husband are excitedly getting ready for all that God has in store for them as He builds their little family. My friend Drew asked me: “If children are a blessing from the Lord, what are grandchildren?” My best answer was “they are a blessing…without the hassle.” (If my kids are reading this, know that you are not a hassle...most of the time.)
We continue to get the occasional “did they plan this?” question from people. And I continue to love how Jenifer addressed that on a Facebook post a few days ago. Here’s what she said:
“The answer is found in Proverbs 19:21, ‘Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.’ So no...while they didn't intentionally plan on getting pregnant immediately after their wedding, they know that God did. And they are thrilled to see what He is doing in their lives.”
Our experience was that it was awesome getting married young and starting our family early. We look forward to Lindsey and Christian experiencing the same. But the reality is that when you have kids young and your kids have kids young, it makes for some extremely young grandparents (that's us). And we think that’s pretty cool.
Grandparents can play a significant role in the health of a family and in the spiritual growth of children. We look forward to being able to make a significant investment there. And that’s where being young grandparents pays off. If we would have waited until we were 35 to have kids and our kids did the same, our influence on our grandchildren would be decreased simply because of health and old age issues. Many of you know exactly what I am talking about. You wish your parents were more involved with your children, but they have entered a stage where they have "run out of steam."
God willing, not in our case. As I posted on Facebook a few days ago, the world is about to witness a whole new standard of young, hip, and cool grand parenting. But I have to admit that it is still pretty wild.
As I have become more used to the reality that I will be a grandfather at 44, I felt that it might be good to put that into perspective. Specifically, I checked the internet to see who else has entered this stage at this age. Here’s what I found out…
Sarah Palin’s move into grandparenthood was perhaps the most famous. Her daughter Bristol’s son Tripp made Sarah a grandma at 44...even as she raised her own preschooler. (Yay! There’s someone who has been there and done that.)
Jim Bob Duggar also became a grandparent at 44 when his son welcomed his first daughter. (With his 19 kids, I can’t claim to be as prolific of a parent as he is, but I think my hair is better...with much less hairspray involved.)
Former James Bond Pierce Brosnan had the honor of becoming a grandfather at 44, just six years after being named People’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” (Now we’re talking! There’s a role model I can relate to.) I have attached an actual, undoctored picture of me to help you to note the similarities between Bond and myself.
So others have been there before me. And, unlike the unemployed man who became a grandfather at 29, I feel like there is a reasonable level of maturity that Jenifer and I bring to the table. We plan to do all we can to allow God to use us for His purposes as we help our children raise their children.
All of us have a role to play in the spiritual growth of those that come behind us. No matter how young or old we are, there are always opportunities for influence. We can teach, provide care, pray, and simply live our Christian lives transparently before our children and grandchildren. Perhaps what is most important is a commitment to never give up…to know that God desires to leave a Godly legacy through us to those in our family.
That legacy is what we started praying for when we had our first child more than twenty years ago. It is what we have now started praying for as that little girl (who is now an extraordinary young woman) prepares to have her own child.
Let’s do this…