A family friend, Pat Jenkins, has graciously shared for this guest post. Enjoy!
Our actions and words can have great influence on our children, even if we don’t think they are paying any attention. Do we encourage them? Do we ask for their forgiveness when we have hurt them? Do we ask for their opinion and/or thoughts? Do we tell them that their feelings matter to us? Do we spend time listening to them? God has entrusted parents and grandparents with a great responsibility and challenge to be His hands and feet in our children’s lives. He has promised to give us wisdom- we only need to ask for it.
We were down at the coast to celebrate our granddaughters’ birthdays. The youngest, 6 at the time, wanted to wade out past the breakers to her sister, who was 12. I was holding the hand of the youngest and trying to help her navigate jumping up at the right time to make it past the breaker crashing down on us. A really large breaker came and almost knocked me down and really scared her. We retreated back to shallower water, but I could tell that she was disappointed that we didn’t make it out to her sister. I asked her how much water she could hold in her hands. We looked at how much water we could each hold in our hands and agreed that it wasn’t very much compared to the amount of water in the Gulf of Mexico. I then told her that the Bible says that God can hold the water in all the oceans in His hand. She looked at me and her face lit up, and she responded with, “And He holds me in His hands too.” We turned around and made it past the breakers and enjoyed time a bit further out with her sister and her mom.
Pointing out how God takes care of us by using where we are and what is happening to us at that point in time is a great way to plant seeds of truth about God’s care and provision for us. No lectures are needed, just a short 1-minute conversation- but with lasting impact.
I got to spend time with my sister and two of her grandsons. We were walking in an open pasture and enjoying looking at nature. I noticed some interesting rocks, then some fossils, and then a jaw bone from a wild pig. I mentioned that the jaw bone reminded me of a story in the Bible where Samson took the jaw bone of a donkey and killed 1000 Philistines. My sister and husband and I shared this story with the boys. After we finished this story, the older one asked if there were any other stories like that in the Bible. I shared about David and Goliath. I shared about how God wants us to trust Him, but I also mentioned that we all make mistakes (even David made mistakes), but that God forgives us. I don’t know where or how these seeds will grow, but they are God’s seeds and He has the power to produce fruit from them. We are called to be faithful to share God’s Word with those that God has placed in our lives, especially our own children, grandchildren, etc. Where is your mission field today?
By Pat Jenkins