Do you know why 43% matters? It truly matters because, according to the Barna Group, 43% of people make the decision to receive God’s gift of grace and forgiveness by placing their trust in Jesus before the age of 13. Yes, before the age of 13.
This statistic should get our attention and remind us how we grandparents know something parents often do not. What is it we grandparents know? We know the truth about how very, very quickly our sweet, little grandchildren are growing up. We remember how fast our own children grew up; it may not have felt like it at the time, as the day-in-day-out work of raising children can make it seem like it is moving along so very slowly . . . will they ever be potty-trained???!!!
Yes, raising children can seem like it takes forever, but the truth is, it really flies by. This is the truth and we do know it. Children grow up so quickly, and if 43% of them make the decision to love and follow Jesus before the age of 13, we have just a very few short years to influence them, to teach them — to pass on a heritage of faith.
We know there are teens and adults who choose to love and follow Jesus and accept God’s gift of grace and forgiveness, but they often end up with the scars which come from making poor decisions, too. If we are able to influence and teach our grandchildren before they are 13, before they have those scars which come from making poor decisions, then why wouldn’t we?
It’s true, “time flies” and our grandchildren are only little for a few short years. It is also true it matters what we say and do in the time we have with our grandchildren – before they turn 13 and after as well. Remember, the most important things we can do as grandparents are to pray for our dear grandchildren and to redeem this time we have been given! To trust God to do what we can not and to focus on passing on a heritage of faith!