Planting God’s Love In Grandkids’ Hearts

by Kaye Swain

Teachable moments with grandkids rarely come at planned times . I can prepare ahead, have a great story book about Jesus or positive character traits, some wonderful Bible coloring pages and be all set for a special time with my grandkids.  Then I go over to babysit and all the plans get thrown out the window. The grandkids are sick, the grandkids have to be somewhere so there is no time, or they are just not in the right frame of mind for what I had planned. Those are the times I “punt” and we just read stories, sing songs, or do something else simple.

Then there are the times like today . Two are recovering from a bug and one still has it. I came over for the day with no real plans since I knew they weren’t feeling good. We had a great time in the morning working on some of the best paper airplanes .  (I’ll be writing about those later this week!) Then we headed upstairs for naptime. We have started a fun project for the summer with the Fruit of the Spirit (that’s coming up soon), so we’ve been singing a fun song to learn the verse and talking about the first of the fruits, love.

What started as a short story about Moses and the Golden Calf, turned into one of those  wonderful and special teachable moments all of us grandparents love! We started talking about Moses and his love for God. From there we talked about how God gave the ten commandments to Moses. I explained that the ten commandments could be summed up by Jesus’ words in Mark 12, “…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength…You shall love your neighbor as yourself .” I added that Jesus also taught us to, “…love your enemies, do good to those who hate you .” (Luke 6:27b).

Grand-twin 2 asked, “Why do we have to love our enemies ?” I explained that if we are loving and kind to someone who doesn’t know Jesus, and they see that, then they might realize how real Jesus is and how much He loves them.

From there, I went on to tell them the story of Corrie Ten Boom , one of my spiritual mentors. She was a Christian who risked much and lost many to help Jews escape from the Nazis. I told them about the time, years after the war, when she met one of her meanest guards and she struggled with rage against him. Yet God spoke to her heart and enabled her to forgive this enemy and love him with Christ’s love, rejoicing that he was now a brother in Christ.  As Wikipedia puts it, “In her book Tramp for the Lord, she writes, ‘For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.’ She also wrote (in the same passage) that in her post-war experience with other victims of Nazi brutality, it was those who were able to forgive who were best able to rebuild their lives.’”

At 5 and 6, I’m sure my grandkids didn’t fully understand all that we talked about . I am thrilled, however, at the seeds God planted today in extra fertile soil and so grateful for the opportunity to be used by Him in this manner.