Written by Sylvia Schroeder, blogger of When the House is Quiet
“Remain here and watch,” Jesus told his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Mark 14:34, ESV). But while Jesus wrestled in prayer and anguished in His spirit, the disciples couldn’t keep their eyes open. Again, Jesus implored, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Mark 14:38 ESV)
In grandparenting, it is easy to be lulled into a thick, heavy stupor like the disciples on that important night. “I’m too tired… It can’t be that important…. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.”
It is comfortable not to be bothered, to remain unaware and undisturbed. In the interlude of nodding off, however, supposedly safe places where our grandchildren absorb and learn are inundated with ideas contrary to truth.
Recently, I sat with one of my grandchildren and watched while he played what should have been a harmless video game. Only it wasn’t, and the ungodly teaching opposed both his parent’s and grandparent’s convictions. I felt sure had his parents been there they would not have approved. I had a choice to make. I’m sure most grandparents face similar choices.
With our busy lives, how is it even possible to screen everything, to decipher intent, or discern underlying agendas? How can we remain alert?
Jesus’ Appeal to His Disciples
Jesus, before His crucifixion, told his sleepy disciples three things.
- Stay Awake.
These apply to the role of grandparenting too.
The disciples needed supernatural strength to stand against temptation. Deep trials only Jesus foreknew were about to take place. Peter’s denial would come. They would all abandon Him. In Jesus’ life on earth, He had poured into the twelve, and their lives were about to upturn like tumbleweeds.
“Stay awake, watch, and pray,” He urged with passion.
As grandparents, we see the off-kilter flight of moral stability in our world. Our eyes may have drooped with indifference and weariness. We may abdicate because we are, after all, only grandparents and not parents. We’ve paid our dues. We’ve already fought our fights with their parents when they were children under our roofs. However, a generation following will pay for those moments of sluggish non-awareness.
We are in a battle against disengagement’s thick wool of sleep. We must remain alert. We cannot underestimate as naive children, the magnitude of the moment. We can’t devalue the imprint of the world or the imprint of a grandparent in love with Jesus.
What Can We Do to Stay Awake?
1. Be a student of the Word.
We cannot possibly be lookouts for our grandchildren if we do not know what God has first taught us. The Bible alerts us, it awakens.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12 ESV)
2. Know the culture of your grandchildren.
Normalizing sin within society brings lethargy. The attitude of “that’s just the way it is,” can be spiritually lethal. Be an active watcher and listener. Know what is happening and how it is disguised. Every spiritual fiber in us must wake up for the sake of the little ones coming behind us.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)
3. Be on your guard.
Grand-parental malaise can happen without even realizing it. Tired and not wanting to confront, we ask, “Does it really matter? If I ignore it, maybe they will stop doing it. Will it be worth the flack?”
Paul the Apostle, living in a society which in many ways resembled ours today, exhorted the church in Corinth.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV)
4. Bring grandchild concerns to Jesus.
Pray about everything. Pray with humility and pray with faith.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Eph. 6:18 NIV)
Jesus knew, before it happened, what testing awaited His disciples. He knew then, and He knows now. This moment is not hidden from Him nor is the future. So, as we see the craziness around, let’s heed His words to the disciples in the garden.
Stay awake, watch, and pray. Let’s bow before a Sovereign Father with our requests, then rest in knowing He cares about our children and grandchildren much more than we ever could.