Shaun Coats became a “Papa” for the 5th time yesterday. Shepherd Ezekiel Wilkenson came into this world at 8 lbs. and 9 oz. I’m told both mom and baby are doing well. Praise the Lord and congrats to Dan and Ashlee! But, back to Shaun…
Shaun has a role to play in this little guy’s life. Listen to the exhortation God gives Grandfathers through Moses:
Deuteronomy 4:9 (ESV) – Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—
As Grandpas, or whatever term of endearment your grandchildren have for you, we have a real living and breathing responsibility to serve in the formation of our children’s and grandchildren’s spiritual development. We are to keep our souls diligently so that we can remember the things that God has done for us so that we can make them known to our descendants. In fact, telling about these things actually helps us remember them. This is why we have to tell the same stories over and over and over and over…
Being a Grandpa is different than being a Dad, for sure. And the role and responsibility looks different when you are interacting with your children than you are when you are making things known to your grandchildren. But to whatever degree we can, we must do our part. And to be quite honest, it’s actually better in some ways when you do it the second time around. Not in all ways, but in some ways.
However, no matter how well Grandpa and Dad (And Grandma and Mom, for that matter!) do in teaching their progeny the truths of God’s promises, the young people have to receive it. Oh, if there were only a magic button to make sure this would happen. But alas…
I’m reminded of Abraham, the patriarch of both the Jewish race and of the faith of Christians. He is 100 years old when Isaac is born (Gen.21:5). Isaac is 60 when Jacob and Esau are born (Gen.25:26). Isaac is 75 when Abraham dies (Gen.25:7). This means that Esau and Jacob were 15 years old when Abraham died.
I can only assume that Abraham interacted with Esau and Jacob, telling them their stories of moving from Chaldea, of digging wells, of raining fire and brimstone, of fighting with the kings of the plains of Sodom, of Ishmael and distant cousins, and mostly of God making irrevocable promises to both of them, promises that Grandpa received by faith while looking at the numberless stars of the heavens.
But it seems that Jacob was slow to learn and Esau was altogether deaf toward the spiritual instructions their Grandpa (and Dad) made known to them. So, not to ignore Dads or anything, but with Abraham and his fifteen-year-old grandsons in mind, I’d like to remind the teenaged grandchildren in NRBC of the need to listen. Christian Grandpas have stories to tell of God’s amazing grace over decades of divine faithfulness that, if well received, will keep young people from lying, sibling squabbles, running away from home, sleeping homeless under the stars, and a whole host of things that Jacob and Esau could have avoided had they listened.
Kids, listen to your Grandpa!