As life goes on sometimes you remember the excitement you shared with your grandparents. They seemed to be smarter and wiser and ready to share time, stories and impart wisdom.
I am not sure if they realized it however they made the Proverb “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” come to life.
During a walk around the city a stranger asked for money for food. My grandfather’s replied. “I’ll be glad to take to the lunch counter and buy you a meal, but I won’t give you any money” The stranger said no and left. Before I could ask, my grandfather told me “See he wanted the money to buy alcohol and I was not going to support that. I would have gladly purchased him a meal.” This wisdom is from a man who came here through Ellis Island then sponsored and brought over many family members from the old country. They all learned a new alphabet and a new language, English. His examples and teachings reverberated throughout my life and ministry.
Grandparents are great bridge-builders. My grandparents were children of the 19th century and relayed an important heritage of both history and faith through the years.
Children can benefit from their grandparents’ testimonies, teachings and examples because they can personally witness their grandparents.
In a sense, it seems strange that grandparents can have such far-reaching influence. After all, they can be separated in age from their grandchildren by 40 to 70 years. Yet they have an uncanny ability to bridge that generation gap—sometimes even better than parents can.
It would behoove us grandparents to set a good example and pass on our life experiences. Discuss your failures as well as your successes as learning experiences. What good is all that knowledge and wisdom if you don’t pass it on? Funny, I have learned a lot and still heed the wisdom of my grandparents. The wisest thing I learned is that I don’t have all the answers. We are the bridge-builders for our grandchildren.
Here are some other time honored sayings to live by:
– “Do unto others as you would like them to do to you!”
– “What you put out into the world will come back to you, good or bad”
– “Stay honest and keep your integrity”
– “Life will have high peaks and low valleys, and neither is forever. Enjoy the peaks, pull yourself out of the valleys and keep going”
– “Everyday is an opportunity to be better then you were the day before.”
– “You can not change history, learn from it and grow from it”
– “You can not run away from yourself or God”
– “Don’t be judgmental. You don’t know what someone else is going through until you’ve walked in their shoes”
– “Take time to stop and smell the roses along the way”
– “Good manners cost nothing. Practice them and make a good impression”
– “A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful life fills the day with song.”
– “People will forget what you say. People will forget how you look. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
You may want to add to that list.
The core of everything, the very most important thing, is that your children and grandchildren experience being loved by you. They need to feel that you enjoy being with them. When they are loved, and know it, they feel valued and can grow from that place of acceptance. Some of the ways to show this love are to make sure that home is a safe place – a place where they can be silly, mad, and emotional. Where they can be free to be themselves and know they will be loved as a whole person. Remember love is an action word and you should be doing the action.
Love may not cure every ailment known and unknown however it relieves pain, stress, anxiety, depression with its many resulting actions and trips to doctors.
Love well practiced could change the hearts of others.
To use another saying: Love, try it you’ll like it.
Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.narrowpathministries.org and http://www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org