Sept. 23 conference highlights our times as defining moment for the influence found in a grandparent.
By Dr. Ken Canfield | National Association for Grandparenting
How important is it for us to awaken our grandparent power and become the generational leaders God desires us to be? I believe it’s one of the most important tasks you will ever undertake. Let me illustrate:
Imagine you’re driving on a long journey, but at the moment you’re sitting at a rest stop and taking inventory of what remains until you reach home. There’s a good deal of travel ahead, and no apparent problems, but as the driver you feel the weight of responsibility to deliver your passengers, which happen to be your grandchildren, to their home safe and sound.
Back on the road, those precious passengers fall asleep and you’re very much aware that you are playing a critical role. You must drive this vehicle safely, and you’re doing so with extra alertness and care. Crossing the center line could be devastating. Failing to signal or check your rearview mirror could leave you vulnerable to other dangers. You begin to pray and meditate on the blessings of being a grandparent—but not to the point of losing your focus on the road. Being focused and watchful is essential, and your accumulated experience as a driver will serve you well in case rain starts to fall or nighttime approaches.
That’s how we should view grandparenting: it’s a huge blessing but a much greater responsibility and trust!
It’s time to get tuned in to your grandparenting role and its power. Prepare yourself for a surge of resurrected power to be awakened inside you. This surge will give you fresh resolve to faithfully strengthen your family. It’s ludicrous to believe that some of your best years in life—the grandparenting era—have been extended to you without purpose. It’s wisdom to believe that your life experience can be a guiding light for your grandchildren in a world of darkness.
Too often, the billboards of American individualism have tempted us to take our eyes off the road. The billboard slogans might say “It’s my time now,” or, “I’ve earned the right to do what I what to do.” These messages promote independence, isolation and self-indulgence during a time when we should be much more passionate about investing in our grandchildren through our prayers, giving our time, and modeling what being a godly person truly means.
As mature members of our family system, forgiven and empowered by Christ living within us, we must be tenacious and persistent as we bless, teach and love our grandchildren—and their parents. We are key leaders, role models, and family reconcilers. Failing in these roles means that we leave our grandchildren at greater risk to struggle; it means we haven’t completely fulfilled our commission to take them to their destination safe and sound. Again, mediocrity, inattentiveness and lack of focus are enemies to our grandparenting role.
Therefore, we must band together. That’s the essence of The Heart of Grandparenting Conference coming to the Kansas City area on Saturday, September 23rd from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Our first conference in the Kansas City region will be hosted by College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas at 2020 E. Sheridan Street. You are invited to this one-of-a-kind event along with other grandparents who want to make a difference.
Consider this: What if grandparents took bold steps to pray regularly for each of our grandchildren, by name? What if we grandparents bestowed insightful, prophetic blessings on our grandchildren? What if grandparents became beacons of light and hope to our children and grandchildren, and through humility and grace, sought to reconcile any misunderstandings or failures? What if this incredible love and influence of grandparents began to flow into the spiritual household, the Church, where there are orphans, fatherless and single parents need encouragement and mentoring? What if …?
Grandparents, please join us! You will be encouraged and blessed. I truly believe a grandparenting movement is beginning to dawn, and our role is indispensable. Take this as a guarantee that your investment of a day to be strengthened and challenged in your grandparenting is one of the best gifts you can give to your family.”
–Ken Canfield is founder of the National Association for Grandparenting & grandsmatter.org. He also founded the National Center for Fathering. As a national conference speaker, radio and TV personality, he is the author of multiple books on fathering and grandparenting. He and his wife, Dee, have five children and 11 grandchildren.