Have you shared your lineage with your grandchildren?
“One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.” Psalms 145:4 NIV
Everybody’s ancestry includes two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, 16 great-great-grandparents, and so on. Have you ever wondered who might have been your lineal ancestor living in Jesus’ day? What do you know about any of your ancestral lineages? What kind of people were they? Where did they live? What did they believe?
The events of our lives, our parents’ lives, and those generations preceding us make up our life blueprint. As grandparents, we are a vital link between our grandchildren and family history. How are we affecting that blueprint for future generations? Do they know their family stories and history? Have you shared pictures of the family from previous generations?
Why not write a story with pictures of your parents (your grandchildren’s great-grandparents) to share with them? You might also take out a map and show them where you lived, where your grandparents lived, and where your ancestors lived. I found it interesting to read stories about my ancestors, their struggles in Europe before coming to this country, and their challenges of starting a new life as immigrants in a new country in the late 1800s. I soon realized these were real people – my family – making a life for themselves and future generations like me.
If your family has a Christian heritage, it is vital to write about that so succeeding generations can see how powerfully God has worked in their family. If you do not have a legacy of Christian family members but are walking with the Lord now, you have changed the blueprint for future generations. Now, that is exciting – and worth passing on!
The importance of family is essential when we preserve its roots. When we diligently uphold our family history, we understand who they are to future generations. Younger generations are often not interested in listening to stories of our life and family history until they’re older. Putting these stories in writing is important to be there when they are interested, and those who know are no longer around.
Deuteronomy 6:5, 7 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . Impress them (these commandments) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” This command is for parents AND grandparents. We are both responsible for influencing God’s truth, values, and purposes intentionally and purposefully upon the hearts and minds of our children and grandchildren through our talks, actions, and prayers.
One generation telling its story to another is powerful. At the same time, grandparents contribute much to a grandchild’s life by sharing their stories. The godly example and prayers of grandparents living as conduits of God’s grace and love open the way for the Spirit of God to perform in our grandchildren His transforming work and keep the legacy alive through their story!
Passing The Baton:
1. Questions to ask:
Do I think my family history is important?
How am I passing on my family’s history to my children and grandchildren?
Does my family know my own life story and that of my parents?
2. Suggestions for prayer:
Ask God to show you how you could share your family history with your family.
Pray for each family member to know and walk in God’s grace and truth.
Pray for generations yet to be born to continue the legacy of life in Christ.
May God bless your children and grandchildren as you pass your legacy to them.
Lillian Penner is the author of Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for Your Grandchildren in English and Spanish. She is on staff with the Christian Grandparenting Network prayer ministry, developing prayer cards, grandparents@Prayer groups, and the Grandparenting Day of Prayer. She has a passion for praying intentionally for her grandchildren and desires to share that passion with other grandparents. An avid blogger, Lillian breaks into smiles if you ask about her thirteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She and her husband, John, live in Portland, Oregon, where they are active in church ministries. They were both raised in Christian homes and desire to pass their godly heritage to their future generations. She and her husband enjoy traveling, Southern Gospel music but most of all, enjoy spending time with their family.
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