As grandparents, we are called to share the Bible with our grandchildren, just as we did with our own children.
It may seem harder since your grandchildren aren’t likely in your home, but be encouraged. The Lord can use you to have memory-making, life-shaping Bible studies with your grandchild. Let’s break down this idea into manageable steps by asking the traditional questions: “who,” “what,” “where,” when,” “why,” and “how.”
Sometimes grandparents never venture into seriously engaging their grandchildren in Bible study, assuming it’s more their parents’ job. You’re right that parents bear this primary responsibility (Ephesians 6:4), but it’s not only the parents’ job to pass along the faith. It’s our privilege as grandparents to come alongside our adult children and support their discipleship efforts. Throughout God’s Word we can find reminder after reminder that we in the older generation are to be teaching the coming generations the words and ways of God. Way back in Moses’s day we find verses like Deuteronomy 4:9, “Make them known to your children and your children’s children” (emphasis mine). Did you catch that “and”? We are to be teaching not only our own children, but our children’s children too! The Psalms also encourage us in this pursuit: “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4). Psalm 78:4-8 is similarly gripping.
We will not hide them from their children,Psalm 78:4
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
Well, obviously we grandparents are involved, but which of our grandchildren? Those who are old enough for a Bible study? I would suggest that we start teaching the Bible to our grandchildren from an early age, even if we are simply sharing a verse and praying the content of that Scripture over our grandchild. As they get a bit older, the depth of our Bible studies will grow with them. Eventually, they will be old enough to read the Bible for themselves and engage in conversations on the passage’s meaning and application. Those conversations can have a lifelong impact, by God’s grace.
Are you like me? If I’m not sure what to do, my tendency is to do nothing—or at least to procrastinate until I have a little more confidence that I’m doing the right thing. But, if we keep procrastinating on studying the Bible with our grandkids, we’re missing wonderful opportunities to show them how the Word of God can shape their lives for eternity. Thankfully, if you are inexperienced in studying the Bible with children, there are resources that can guide you step-by-step.
New Growth Press has resources for all ages from toddlers to teens, including picture books, storybook Bibles, family devotionals, teens studies, and more. Pick something that works best for you would be appropriate for your grandchild’s reading ability.
Thankfully, these days geographical distance no longer prevents us from having Bible studies with our grandkids. Of course, if you have grandchildren who live near you, it might be a little easier to set up a regular time each week to sit with them over an open Bible in your own home or in theirs. But, even if your grandchildren live a distance away, it’s easier than ever to set up a regular video call for your grandparent/grandchild Bible study. If you need assistance in this area, ask your kids and/or grandkids to help you learn how to use the available technology so that you can enjoy the blessing of studying God’s Word regularly with the coming generation.
Let me encourage you to set up a regular time for your Bible study with your grandchildren. We have found doing this weekly is great accountability for all of us. We’ve communicated with our daughter and son-in-law to find the best time in their weekly schedule. Every family’s situation is unique. Some of our grandchildren are homeschooled, giving us more time options to consider. But, other grandchildren attend a brick and mortar school, giving fewer options. Nevertheless, it is worth the effort to find a time that works, even if it’s not weekly. Talk to your grandchildren’s parents about what would work best for their family. If your grandkids are old enough to have some say in their own schedule, get their input, too. Then, set the agreed upon time as a “repeat” on your calendar.
Without making it too rigid, we’ve found ourselves following a basic pattern in our weekly Bible studies with our grandkids. We like to “meet” with our grandkids individually, even if our meeting is via a video call. We always begin with excited greetings followed by questions regarding how they have been doing since we talked last. We’re happy for them to talk to us for a while about what’s been happening in their lives and even showing us something they’ve been working on.
We then try to draw their attention toward God by asking how they’ve seen answers to prayer regarding last week’s prayer requests (We keep a notebook so we don’t forget!). Then we share any new requests, including struggles we may be facing and appropriate confessions of sin. After that, we each take a turn praying for one another. Those can be really sweet times—not only praying for our precious grandkids, but hearing them pray for us!
After prayer we ask how their Bible study has been going. If we’re using a study manual, we open to the recent pages. If we’re working through a Bible passage, we will turn there. With older children, working through a book of the Bible can be a great way to get them in the habit of daily Bible reading. We like using a study Bible, having the study notes available if we get stuck in our understanding of a particular passage. We seek to make a reasonable amount of progress in that week’s Bible study, depending on the age of the grandchild and the time we have available. When our time is drawing to a close, we summarize what we’ve been learning together and end with expressions of love and excitedly talk about our next “meeting.”
What are you waiting for?
What a privilege we have as grandparents, to tell the next generation the wonderful works of God so that they would “set their hope in God” (Psalm 78:7). Let’s get started.
GRANDPARENTING WITH GRACE: LIVING THE GOSPEL WITH THE NEXT GENERATION
In this practical and biblical resource for grandparents, Larry McCall helps readers confidently carry out their mission of gospel-focused grandparenting. Grandparenting with Grace explores how to build a legacy of a life worth following and how to faithfully pray for grandchildren.