Today, if you are a grandparent, you may need to learn something about computers or cell phones from your grandchildren. I have. But I am fortunate to have learned a number of significant lessons from my grandparents. Several of them I want to teach my grandchildren and I never want to forget them.
Here are five I’ll share with you today:
First, keep your life as simple as you can. The world is complicated enough, but family life can be an oasis in the desert of calamity. Take time to listen to the stories of your past and the things your grandparents enjoyed or endured. I’ll never forget some of the stories my grandparents told me about me – and especially those they told me about my parents. Your family history may not be important to anyone else except you. Remember that when your grandparents are gone, they will not be able to share those memories with you.
Second, my grandparents taught me to handle money wisely. Three lessons were most essential – know how much you have and don’t overspend. Budgeting is a base line in most financial system; they called it “prudent spending.” Their frugality kept them from spending more than they had to on any item. Sometimes they traded things and other times they saved a little longer until they could pay cash. Besides, plastic was not as frequently used then. They took prides in regular savings and earning the best interest they could. If the love of money is a root of much evil, they believed that the wise use of money was a course of great benefit. It is a great lesson to remember.
Third, my grandparents believed that nothing beats a home-cooked meal. I’m not sure it was always the food that was important. Perhaps it was simply being across the table from folks you loved and keeping in touch with what was happening in their lives. The dining table was a center for building strong family bonds.
Fourth, they believed that a little elbow grease never hurt anyone. They modeled hard work and enjoying their success from it. A vacation always seemed important but they were happy to get back into the rewarding routine of their lives.
Finally, they taught me that the unseen things in life are often the most important. They made time for worship and witness to their faith in God. Remember the Source of your blessings! That was more than a cliché to them. At meals they bowed their heads and held hands in gratitude. Food always tasted better after giving thanks for it.
They spoke few words but taught volumes. I hope I do as well in teaching my grandchildren.