After we celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary Jan and I went to Texas to spend the week with our two grandsons. Bobby, the older of the two, is now six and had just graduated from kindergarten. Ryan is two and out of daycare for June and July.

That means that Jan and I had them all day every day for five days. What a week—and I’m still exhausted! Even though I need my right knee and my left hip replaced, I’d do it again without hesitation. As a matter of fact, we will be doing it again later this month. The only difference will be I will have them without Jan for two and a half days. (Pray for me!)

One of the tee shirts I wore while there was a gift from Audrey (my daughter) a few years ago soon after Bobby was born. While walking in the park I asked Bobby if he could read it and concentrating on the front of my shirt he read, “Great DADS get promoted [I had to give a little help with this word] to GRANDPA.” And he flashed his wily smile.

I love the shirt and what it says, but I wouldn’t say I was or am a great dad (perhaps a good dad). I realize not every man wants to or can be a dad, but being a dad is one of life’s greatest privileges. It is also one of life’s greatest responsibilities. And it is a privilege and responsibility that never ends.

Often being a dad does provide the opportunity of becoming a grandpa. And if my daughter thinks that is a promotion I am thrilled. Promotion or not, being a grandpa, like being a dad, is a privilege and a responsibility. But most of the time being a grandpa is higher on the privilege side and lower on the responsibility side than being a dad.

Last week I was reminded of all of this and more. One thing that disappointed me was the realization of my lack of patience. Two year olds and six year olds need to be permitted to be six years old and two years old. But there were other times when I was at the other extreme being too lenient and permissive. That I believe is part of the privilege of being a grandpa.

Another thing I realized last week is that I am the grandpa and not a parent. There is a difference. While I have some responsibility of oversight and care when with them, that is not my primary role—I am a backup. And that again is part of the privilege and responsibility of being a grandpa.

But there are a few things that I’m not a backup for in being a grandpa. I’m not a backup in terms of loving those boys, caring about those boys, encouraging those boys, modeling the Lord to those boys, praying for those boys, and worrying about them. I know I’m not supposed to worry—I wasn’t and am not supposed to worry about my own children, but I did and do—and I do and will worry about my grandsons.

In case it isn’t obvious, I love being a grandpa–it’s a promotion!

Don’t hesitate to share these thoughts with others on social media and/or leave a reply below.

Photo courtesy of their grandmother—my wife!





When I started this blog five months ago I indicated a lot of my posts would be inspired or prompted by the writing of others in articles and books. Over the past couple of weeks I have jotted down several ideas for blog posts from my reading. But instead of choosing one and expanding on it, in this post I want to share a few selections from a variety of places that grabbed my attention and caused me to think. Hopefully they will do the same for you.

From a her.meneutics article in a christianitytoday daily newsletter by Kim Gaines Eckert entitled “A Psychologist Faces Her Own Anxiety”:

“Our always connected, hyper-productive culture creates a perfect breeding ground for anxiety as a way of life, so it can be hard and humbling for us to simply take the time to pause.”

I don’t know how humbling it is to take time to pause but I do know how hard it is when we are so caught up in everything we have to do. Perhaps reading these quotes will give you the occasion to pause and think.

From an article by John Acuff at ChurchLeaders.com:

“Sometimes the frequency of divorce makes us forget the heartache of it. It’s such an ordinary thing these days that we tend to rush right by the extraordinary pain it causes.”

If you have gone through a divorce you know how painful it is. If you haven’t maybe this observation will remind you of the pain of those around you in the midst of divorce.

From How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart:

“We must be careful that we do not make any part of Scripture say what we would like it to say.”

Perhaps preachers may need to hear this more than others, but I think all of us could use the reminder.

From The Holy Spirit by Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon:

“To be a holy people does not mean the church is without sin.”

Have you been too hard on some of the people who attend and/or are a part of your church? Are your expectations unrealistic?

From The Soul of Shame by Curt Thompson:

“Possibly one of the least helpful things a parent can tell his or her child is ‘We only expect you to do your best.’ No one can do his or her best at everything, for no one has that much time or energy.”

Being a parent isn’t easy but it is a great blessing. We may put pressure on our children without even knowing it.

From My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers:

“We should be so one with God that we don’t need to ask continually for guidance.”

We already know a lot about what we should do as well as what we shouldn’t do. Don’t we?

From Jesus is the Christ by Leon Morris:

“Believers [Christians] are not meant to live out the life of Christian service in their own strength, thus the gift of the Spirit if very important.”

I remember one day in a class years ago when Dr. Lewis Foster suggested “I don’t think we make enough of the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit.” I think he was right.

Take a few minutes to read these quotes again and give them an opportunity to challenge and encourage your thinking. Let us know in the comments below which one you most appreciate. (Or if you thought this was a dumb idea!)

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/37660097@N08/8405826312“>Satchmo</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com“>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/“>(license)</a>