Seeing Ourselves in Our Grandchildren
Last Sunday granddaughter Margaret played the keyboard for morning worship at her church. That might not seem like such a big deal to you, but it is a huge deal to me. Margaret is 15 years old. I was about 15 when I started playing for "big church." I have the privilege of being Margaret's piano teacher. She's a dream student because she genuinely enjoys practicing. I'm sure she practices more than I did at her age. She struggled for a while, but then a light bulb came on, and she "got it." She no longer had to look down at her fingers to be sure she was on the right keys. She was reading music with ease, and her fingers were nimbly gliding from note to note, even from many notes to many notes. At that point, she became like a sponge soaking up every kind of music I introduced her to and going beyond to find some of her own. I went on to major in music in college and eventually teach music. Margaret has other options open to her because playing the piano is just one of her many talents.
Margaret and I look nothing alike (she has many of the physical characteristics of her paternal grandmother), but we share a strong bond because of our musical ability.
I see myself in Penelope when she blurts out something outrageous to get everyone's attention.
I see myself in Luke because he constantly wants to have projects and stay busy.
Bethany looks a lot like my Aunt June did when she was Bethany's age.
I'd like to take credit for Nathan's high grades in school, but I know he gets that trait straight from his Mom. :)
Seth loves to fish . . . just like his Granddaddy Steve.
Silas stops to think before he answers a question . . . just like his Granddaddy Steve.
Sam and Nathan both look a lot like their Granddaddy Steve.
The truth is that each of our 15 grandchildren shares 25% of our chromosome pairs, so at some point, Steve and I are bound to show up in their physical looks, their character traits, or their natural tendencies. We probably won't live long enough to see how that plays out completely, but it's fun to spot glimpses of ourselves in them at this stage of all our lives. Well, let's say it's USUALLY fun. At other times, it's a little disconcerting.
Steve and I are both reasonably healthy and reasonably intelligent, so we like to think that the traits our grandchildren got from us will be positive. We pray that any not-so-positive traits will have a way of being overcome and conquered by the best ones from their parents and other grandparents. We also pray that the things they observe in our lives will have a favorable impact and will never give them an excuse for going down a bad path.
The Bible has a LOT to say about what one generation passes on to the next.
Psalm 78: 2-7 -- "I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders He has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel,
which He commanded our ancestors to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds
but would keep His commands.
Psalm 145:4 -- "One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts."
Psalm 71:18 -- "So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come."
Deuteronomy 32:7 -- "Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you."
For sure, I'd love to see all of my grandchildren enjoy music. I'd love to watch them all be wise with money like their granddaddy. And it would be a lot of fun if they ALL yelled "War Eagle." But eternally more important, we want them to love God, to trust God, to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, so we can look forward to seeing them in heaven gathered around the Throne with us praising the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
One way we have tried to instill our values and share our family history with our grandchildren has been through our annual Cousins Camp. Our book "Turning Cousins Into Best Friends" has now been published on Amazon. You can order a copy there or by clicking on "Books" at the top of this website.
#faith #inheritingtraits #generationtogeneration