We welcomed our newest grandchild last night!

At 3 lbs 13 oz, tiny Flynn Rhyder evened up the numbers and made it three boys and three girls in this newest generation of Scheibners.

Again, we marveled at the wonderful way God has knit together our grandbabies.

Again, we praised God for a safe and successful delivery. (A little more worrisome than usual this time, but praiseworthy nonetheless)

And again, we found ourselves renewing our commitment to create a family legacy for Christ as we invest in the lives of our precious grandchildren.

How about you, Grandma and Grandpa? Have you made a plan for how you’ll pass on your family’s beliefs, convictions, and traditions? Have you thought through the process of passing on that torch of Christian values and biblical living to the next generation? What will your grandchildren remember about you and how will they build those memories?

I have to be honest this whole “grandparent gig” kind of caught me by surprise. We were still very much in the throes of parenting our youngest children when the older kids began to have children of their own. We hadn’t thought much further than planning how we would take everyone along on vacation, and would there be enough seats at the Boardwalk horse game once all of the grandkids wanted to play along with the adults!

Once we truly began considering what kind of grandparents we wanted to be and just what we hoped to pass on to our grandkids, we discovered that we weren’t alone in that journey. Everywhere we traveled to teach about parenting, we met grandparents who were longing to make a difference in their grandchildren’s lives.

They longed to make a difference, but they just weren’t sure how to go about doing that in a productive way.

Helping them caused Steve and I to make some wonderful discoveries. We began to research what grandkids need most from their grandparents. We asked parents what would be the most helpful to them as the grandparents interacted with their children. We listened to other grandparents’ concerns and desires. What came out of all that research, and those questions, and hours of just listening to folk’s hearts was a concrete picture of how Christian families can, and really must, build a Godly legacy that will last for generations.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be communicating the picture that developed through all that research in our “Grandparenting” emails. We’ll share practical tips, biblical resources, and concrete plans to establish, or reestablish, deeply committed and intimately personal family relationships.

For now, may we share one quickly implemented idea? Grandma and Grandpa, if a friendship is important to your grandchildren, may we encourage you to make that friendship just as important to you?

As you take the time to get to know your grandchildren’s closest friends, you will become a safe place for your grandkids to talk about those friendships. If you invest in their friends by spending time with both your grandchildren and their friends, you’ll find an open window to your grandkid’s hearts and most likely to the hearts of their friends as well.

While opening up to a parent may be difficult at times, a loving and involved grandparent provides the perfect outlet for children and young adults. You can be a listening ear, a trusted counselor, and their biggest cheerleader. When your grandchildren know that you love them and that you love their friends as well, they will be comfortable coming to you with their concerns, frustrations, temptations, joys, and successes.

What an opportunity we have to pour into the lives of our grandkids, as well as into the live of those friends whom they hold most dear.