We all wish to successfully pass on a faith heritage to the ones we love. That also includes handing down your faith to your grandchild. However, being a grandparent is a complicated “job” these days. I don’t know if you noticed, but we no longer live in a society that automatically thinks that being a Christian is a good thing.
But the society we live in nowadays is almost virtual. Now, it’s not that uncommon to live miles away from our children and grandchildren, seeing them only once or twice a year.
Even if we’re lucky enough to live in their vicinity, the hustle and bustle of life can really make regular visits challenging. Only recently did I have a conversation with a friend who was definitely struggling, and she had used the word “truth” in one of her conversations with her daughter, who’s an adult now.
She was also ridiculed for believing there’s only one truth out there. Her daughter deeply believed that truth is relative and that truth depends on situations and viewpoints. This really devastated my friend.
Why? Well, my friend and her husband raised their daughter in a very strong Christian environment. They really tried to model true faith in her. The lies of the world had taken root in her daughter’s heart, little by little, leaving my friend feeling very stuck in a difficult situation.
To keep the relationship intact, my friend backed off her argument. However, she did confess that her choice made her feel like a traitor to God for not being firm enough. She only wanted to speak the truth to her grandchildren. But she avoided confrontation to prevent being denied access.
The difficult task of passing down our faith
The next thing I did was pray with my friend, asking God to help her navigate this very difficult path. I wanted to make sure she wasn’t alone. I truly don’t know anyone in my friend group who hasn’t been faced with very similar circumstances.
Most of us have adult children who have completely different beliefs than us. While we are still rock solid in our own beliefs, walking out the application of sharing such beliefs with family members can be a true minefield. So how do we honor our commitment to God without completely cutting off communication with our unbelieving children and their own kids?
Every single situation is different, and the only way we can truly navigate our own life path and circumstances is by walking very closely with God and letting the Holy Spirit be our best guide.
Truth be told, there is really no single right answer. That being said, there might be some things we could consider doing that could help us in the process of handing down our faith to our own grandkids.
Leave the legacy of faith to your grandchildren
- Pray, pray pray – It’s so important to ask God to give us the opportunity to talk about faith and model our own personal beliefs and faith. If you ever need it, ask God for eyes to see the opportunities and signs He is giving you.
- Model your own faith – The saying “faith is caught, not taught” has its own validity. There are also some instances where grandparents have been asked not to talk about faith-based topics. In such circumstances, what we do is even more important.
- Let your grandchildren know you’re praying for them – Never feel shy about telling them you pray for them on a daily basis. Also, ask them how they would like you to pray for them. Even the youngest children will respond to this question, and you will soon find that the earlier you start asking, the more they will come to you and ask for prayer by themselves.
- Ask the right questions – Ask all the needed questions about their beliefs. Instead of lecturing them day and night, we should try to listen to what our grandchildren have learned and believe about God. It’s much easier to assume that we know where they are in their faith journey, but these assumptions are oftentimes wrong.
- Answer the questions they are asking – It’s so easy to get ahead of the Holy Spirit by saying all the things we would like our grandkids to know. Even more so if your grandchild doesn’t have as much exposure to the Bible or God, you will have to approach the matter with a lot of caution. When asked about God and your faith, make sure you listen to the question and follow that thread before introducing other subjects you want to talk about.
Find ways to enter their world, and bring them into yours
- Share your heritage of faith – Most of us had parents or other family members who had a very close relationship with Jesus. I always enjoy telling stories on how I watched my grandparents praying and how much I enjoyed going to church with them. Sharing stories about other family members is one of the most powerful ways to engage your grandkids in the tradition. If you don’t have a strong faith heritage, you could also share stories from the Bible and talk about how we are all part of God’s family.
- Celebrate all the traditions – Analyze all the faith traditions you have in your family and start from there. Whether you have your own faith-based traditions or not, there are plenty of holiday traditions that are based on a very strong and faithful foundation. Christmas is obviously the first one to start with. Dig deeper into what Christmas means to you and your family. Share all the different stories of Santa Claus and Saint Nicolaus. Also, try to talk about the Christmas carols and hymns. But make sure you don’t just stop at Christmas; have a look at the Easter holiday, Thanksgiving, and Saint Patrick’s Day, too.
- Explore the miracles of nature – This is a wonderful conversation starter. It doesn’t even matter how young or old your grandchild is. Kids are always fascinated with bugs, animals, flowers, and trees. Talking about the miracles of God’s creation is truly a wonderful way to have a faith conversation.
- Write letters and cards to your grandchildren – Now, we live in a world where we can instantly communicate with our loved ones. Receiving a card or letter with a handwritten note is definitely a powerful way to say I love you, but also to share your faith in God.
- Start a regular text thread with your grandchild – If your grandchild is old enough to have a smartphone, consider opening a regular text conversation with them. Share your activities and ask about their daily lives, but also include a one-line prayer for them every single day.
Leave a legacy of faith for your grandchildren
If you mix consistency with a strong foundation of love and respect, you will manage to open many doors and model Jesus, no matter the situation you’re currently in. As you navigate the intricate path of handing down your faith to your grandchildren, make sure you remember to pray with those around you in similar circumstances.
Also, you could start a group of praying grandparents. Don’t lose your heart, as God is faithful, and big things can happen when we pray and let God open doors for us.
If you’re interested in reading more about the word of God, make sure you check out this article, too: Mary Magdalene’s 7 Demons (and 6 Other Amazing Facts)