Grandparents have a significant impact on both children and adults, according to the founder of the National Association for Grandparenting.
Ken Canfield told participants at the Oct. 21–22 Legacy Grandparenting Summit, held at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham and broadcast nationwide via satellite, that “many grandparents underestimate their influence over the spiritual lives of their grandchildren.”
In his session titled, “Awakening the Blessing Power of Grandparenting,” Canfield noted that in a study of “800 adults who were significantly influenced by their grandparents, a [large] number referred to grandparents collectively as ‘angels.’”
“Angels show up at specific times with messages that are life-changing,” he said. “Angels are warring in the last book of the New Testament and valiantly standing up for Truth … . You are in some sense an expression angelically of what God is doing.
“Let’s … take on any enemy or foe who tries to snuff out the life of our grandchildren or great-grandchildren,” Canfield challenged.
‘Share your stories’
He encouraged grandparents to share their stories. Calling their homes “a museum,” he suggested inviting grandchildren over and giving away “some of your stuff,” also using the time to talk about past experiences, spiritual journeys and the hope of heaven.
Ken Davis, noted humorist, speaker and author, brought laughter and inspiration to the Summit, sponsored by the Legacy Coalition, with his session, “Leaving a Legacy of Joy.”
Davis said he initially hadn’t wanted children, and admitted he later was “kicked out of Lamaze class” for asking to “run the movie backwards.”
More seriously, Davis said he realized when his daughter was born that he would gladly give his life for her. Then, he joked, he made the mistake of blinking and his first grandchild was born. He again fell in love, and knew he wanted to share the importance of joy with the child.
“Let your kids know that God is the author of joy,” Davis encouraged. “Make no mistake, that’s important. But more important is helping them understand what the source of real joy is.
“The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength [and it] comes when our feet are firmly planted on the foundation that God loves us just the way we are,” Davis affirmed.
Leave a legacy
“His love never changes. And that’s the legacy we need to leave with our grandchildren.”
Sherry Schumann, president of the Christian Grandparenting Network, led a seminar titled, “The Power of a Praying Grandparent.”
“We are in a spiritual battle for our grandchildren,” she declared. “If we are in a spiritual battle, then you know what we need? We need a spiritual weapon, and that weapon is prayer.
“It is time that we as grandparents stop turning to prayer as our last resort and we start turning to prayer as our first resort.”
- Making a prayer calendar, choosing one day a week to pray for each grandchild.
- Setting up a “prayer clock” as a reminder to pray for grandchildren.
- Creating a prayer journal, writing prayers, requests and thanksgiving and dating the entries. “This is one of the most amazing written legacies that we can leave to our grandchildren.”
“I plan on spending this season of life filling those bowls [prayers of the saints from Rev. 5] with the prayers for my children and their spouses and my grandchildren and my future generations,” Schumann said. “The question that I ask you today is, ‘Will you do the same?”
The entire Legacy Grandparenting Summit replay is now available. Free webinars include “Grand Monday Nights,” and Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. CST, a special “Grandbaby Shower” for expectant and first-time grandmothers will be broadcast. Learn more about these and other resources at www.LegacyCoalition.com