My wife Chris and I have entered a new phase of life. We are grandparents.
More specifically, we are Opa and Oma, terms of endearment from my wife’s German roots. For Christmas, parents Janelle and John gave me a ball cap with “Opa” embroidered on it, and Chris received a key chain which says “My favorite people call me Oma.”
Our bundle of joy arrived early on the morning of December 10th. Six hours later we were at the hospital holding little Michelle, our first grandchild, born to Janelle and John Mack. It’s hard not to be proud grandparents, although I often remind myself not to overdo it, as many are childless and even some with children do not have grandchildren. Yet we find ourselves making plans to travel two and a half hours to Silver Spring, Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C. to stop in and see Michelle and her parents. After our last visit Janelle remarked, “I think we’ve seen more of you in the last few months than we have for some time!” Duh! Yes, we are the proverbial doting grandparents.
Parenting and grandparenting bring new responsibilities. Not only must parents provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs, they must also consider the baby’s spiritual well-being. This is often an opportunity for young parents to return to their own spiritual roots as they seek to provide their child with a spiritual and moral foundation. Dorothy Beidler, writing in the January, 2015 edition of Purpose states, “Passing on God’s love may be the unique, solitary task and joy of each generation.”
We at MennoMedia are well aware of the need to nurture faith, not only in children but in their parents. That is why we have revised and reissued a classic bestselling series of books called Meditations. There are six books in the series. Each offers a month’s worth of devotional reflections including prayers, poems, scripture, and words of inspiration. Each is written for a specific life event: marriage, pregnancy, adoption, and giving birth. The first three books are now available including: Meditations for New Parents, Meditations for the Expectant Mother, and Meditations for the New Mother. (The remaining three in the series will be out in August, 2015.)
If you too are a grandparent, you may be interested in Elsie Rempel’s Please Pass the Faith: The Art of Spiritual Grandparenting. This is an important book for both biological and honorary grandparents who want to pass their faith on to their offspring. This doesn’t always come easily, nor is it a given in Christian homes.
I hope we at MennoMedia can strengthen and encourage you in your faith, and also as you work at nurturing faith in children and grandchildren.
Blessings in your work, worship and witness,
Steve Carpenter, Director of Development
How have you passed the love of God on to your children and grandchildren?