Written by Kathy March, Author and Speaker
Our five grandchildren live quite a distance away, so each summer we invite them to spend a week with us for what we call Grand-Camp. It is a time away from their parents where we plan activities and learning experiences.
Each year I select a story or theme from the Bible. Last summer’s camp theme was Noah’s Ark. On the first day of camp, we studied Noah and made a list of facts about him: He was Lamech’s son; he was over 500 years old when he had three boys; he was a righteous man; he found favor in the eyes of the Lord; he walked faithfully with God; he heard God’s voice; and he was obedient.
As the grandchildren took turns writing those facts on post-it notes and sticking them on a mural, I began to think about how I had been praying for many of those same characteristics in their lives.
Praying Through Proverbs
Using our book, My Grandmother is Praying for Me, I had been asking God to develop in my grandchildren the character traits most pleasing to Him. The prayers are based on character qualities that we find in the book of Proverbs; a book which teaches us a great deal about how God wants us to act and think. He specifically desires the characteristics that Noah displayed – righteousness, obedience, and faithfulness.
Proverbs 20:11 says that “even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.” And, Proverbs 2:8-9 assures us that God “guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful one.”
There are many other character traits that are commended in the book of Proverbs – honesty, generosity, and graciousness are just a few of them. We can model those traits for our grandchildren. We certainly can, and must, pray that God will develop them in their lives. And we can engage in activities with them that reinforce those traits.
Taking time each day to pray a verse from Proverbs and asking God specifically to weave His will into the hearts of our grandchildren is one way this can be done. What we are asking for through this prayer is not a type of behavior modification, but rather a transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit.
As the week of Grand-Camp progressed, we covered other topics: what was the ark like? how was it constructed? what happened when the flood came? how long did the flood last? and how did Noah take care of all those animals?!
We enjoyed trips to the zoo, making rainbow crafts, drawing the ark then adhering animal stickers, and we even attempted to construct our own wooden arks.
We decided that Noah must have been very kind to his animals and to his family to live with them for that long on the ark. Then we discussed how God wanted us to be kind, as well. My grandchildren brainstormed ideas – we could write kind notes to each other, we could surprise each other with a gift, we could have a lemonade stand and give away the money we earned.
In the end, we decided to make animal cookies for a sick neighbor and deliver them with a cheerful note wishing them a speedy recovery. Proverbs 16:24 says that “kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” (New Living Translation). I’m sure my grandchildren enjoyed the cookies just as much as my neighbor, but it did reinforce a good lesson on kindness and caring.
As the week of Grand-Camp ended, I reflected on the time we had together. It wasn’t perfect – there were disagreements, short tempers, tired children, and tired grandparents, but I believe we accomplished our purpose of loving our grandchildren well and teaching them about the Lord.
I wish we were able to see our grandchildren more often – that they lived in the same city, and could just drop by for a quick visit and a grandma hug. But, that is not our reality. So, taking the opportunity to pray for them every day and to reach out to them across the miles is what we have committed to doing.
Like many other grandparents, we love Facetime and Zoom. Through technology, we have seen their first few steps, their tumbles, their athletic pursuits, and their musical endeavors. But, I don’t believe that anything is more important for nurturing their love for the Lord, their commitment to Christ, and their character development than praying, and the book of Proverbs is a great starting place for those prayers.
Kathy March is originally from Minnesota and now lives in Brentwood, Tennessee. She graduated from Wells College and has a master’s degree in counseling from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Kathy has been married to Sal for over 40 years and has two married children and five granddaughters. She has a special love for women’s ministry and has spoken at both national and international conferences. Presently, she works as an educational consultant for students. She is also an avid runner and enjoys sharing a good cup of coffee with friends.
Editor’s Note: Grand-Camp in this article is not to be confused with GrandCamp, a ministry of Christian Grandparenting Network. Learn more about that here.
For additional ideas on hosting a camp for your grandchildren, read this article!