At every stage of life, we have the opportunity to watch the godly lives around us and to learn from their examples. I am indebted to the many grandmothers who teach me how to be a better “Little” to our grandchildren.
One of the grandmothers that I have watched with appreciation and respect is a grandmother I will call Jane. I respect Jane for many reasons. She is a good Bible student and teacher. She is a faithful friend to many. She is a talented homemaker. She is devoted to her grandchildren. Like many grandmothers, she has enjoyed picking up her grandchildren from school and spending time with them in the afternoons.
I was recently in a conversation with Jane and another grandmother. I related a delightful time I had with one of our grandchildren. Jane told me with deep sadness that her grandchildren are now older and involved with their friends. They don’t spend time with her and her husband. She spoke vividly about their lonely evenings missing them. Both are grieving their loss.
My heart was sad. Thinking about ourselves and our needs and wants while not thinking about the needs and wants of others is a temptation at every age. The childhood and teen years are the years when we need to teach our children to think about other people, to be sensitive to their needs, and to serve them. Some will say that it is natural for teenagers to want to be with people their own ages. It is natural then, but I think it is natural at almost any age. Just because it is natural doesn’t mean it is okay for it to be all-consuming.
I doubt that Jane’s grandchildren have any idea that their grandparents are lonely. I doubt very much that they are ignoring them intentionally. Children and teens need wise and loving parents who guide them away from lives centered on themselves and toward service to other people. The childhood and teen years are a great time to be practicing for a lifetime of serving others.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.