Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Book Review: Biblical Grandparenting

Biblical Grandparenting: Exploring God’s Design, Culture’s Messages and Disciple-Making Methods to Pass Faith to Future Generations

Author Josh Mulvilhill interviewed 25 evangelical grandparents from five different states to discover how they saw their role of grandparent and how they influenced the spiritual development of their grandchildren. Surprisingly, only 24 percent of those interviewed saw themselves as having a responsibility to influence their grandchildren’s spirituality.

Despite the Bible clearly stating that older people are to teach the younger, most of those interviewed saw themselves simply as encouragers, supporters or loving friends to their grandchildren. They were content to let parents and Sunday schools do the job of molding the faith of their offspring.

Biblical Grandparenting is divided into four parts: Getting Started, God’s Design, Culture’s Messages and Discipleship Methods. I liked the book’s charts, which summarize chapter findings, such as “The Culture’s View of Grandparenting,” “A Brief History of Grandparenthood in America” and “Discipling Grandchildren.” Some listings include responses of parents identified by first names. 

A most valuable chapter offers eight spiritual practices to impact grandchildren, such as asking questions and blessing them verbally. These practices would, in fact, be helpful to parents as well as grandparents.

Mulvihill wrote this book as a doctoral thesis, but it is most readable. He summarizes his research results in a final chapter and challenges pastors and church leaders to do more to equip grandparents to take their biblical role in passing on the faith.

Appendixes list the interview questions Mulvihill used along with summaries of demographic data. And the book includes extensive notes and bibliography.

If you’re a grandparent, this book is for you. Grandchildren grow up before you know it, and the time to touch their lives for Christ is now.