Although my siblings and I were deprived of our natural grandparents while growing up in China, the senior missionaries were like our own grandparents. In the Orient that I knew, age was respected because it implied the accumulation of wisdom that the years bring. To have an elderly grandparent in the home was considered a privilege rather than a burden.
Fortunately, when our first four children were young, we lived just across the road from my parents. They were ideal grandparents: strict disciplinarians but full of love and fun. Many nights the girls would spend with their grandparents. Those evenings were always family times. They played games and read books aloud. Mother made clothes for their dolls and nursed them when they were sick. She let them help her plant flowers in the spring, rake leaves in the fall and lick the pan after making a batch of fudge. Since Daddy was a doctor, whenever medication or stitches were needed, he was available.
Both were great storytellers. They were happy Christians. They were part of God’s special provision for us during the many occasions when Bill was away on Crusades.
Those of you who have not had a loving Christian heritage can make sure your children have one. Even if you feel it is too late, commit the wasted years and lost opportunities to God. Love those who come to mind–and pray.
Then, look around for some young person you can encourage and help along the way.