10 Things Your Children and Grandchildren Need To Know About You

What do your children and grandchildren know about you?

I don’t mean where you were born, and what school you went to, interesting though that might be. What do they know about what God has been doing in your life and what he is doing right now?

Some years ago, a friend and mentor said to me, “Be sure you spend good time with your sons during your teenage years.” I took his advice, and during their high school years I made the habit of spending one evening each week with one of our two boys. We would head to the shops, play tennis, or enjoy a good Chicago hot dog together.

In addition to our family times, my wife Karen and I both found that we were able to engage our children in a different and deeper conversation when we were with them one-on-one. Now that we are grandparents, we will soon have the opportunity of doing something similar with our grandchildren.

10 Things Your Children and Grandchildren Need to Know About You

Paul had a close mentoring relationship with his young apprentice, Timothy, and his description of what Timothy knew about him gives a helpful framework for some great conversations:

You…know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings…Yet the Lord rescued me from them all. (2 Timothy 3:10-11, NIV)

These verses give a checklist of 10 things you want your children and grandchildren to know about you.

1. Your teaching

What do you believe about the Bible, about the effects of sin in the human personality, about who Jesus is, and why he died and rose? What about the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer, about the church, baptism and communion, and our glorious hope in the second coming of our Lord?

2. Your way of life

What has weighed most heavily in the choices that have shaped your lifestyle? There’s a great conversation to be enjoyed here about the value of living within your means, and the way you make choices about your use of money.

3. Your purpose

How would you describe the great purpose of your life? How have you pursued (or not pursued) that in the past, and how are you pursuing it now?

4. Your faith.

Where in your life have you most had to trust God?

5. Your patience

Where have you had to be especially patient in your life, and what did you learn when what you sought was long delayed?

6. Your love

Who and what do you love the most? This question opens up a great opportunity to affirm your love for your family, the Lord, and his people.

7. Your endurance

When did you find it especially difficult to persevere in something that God was calling you to do, and how did you find the strength to keep going?

8. Your persecutions

Where have you endured hardship that came into your life because you were serving the Lord? Your children and grandchildren will know that following Christ is always costly. What they need to grasp is that it is always worth it.

9. Your sufferings

How have you suffered in your life, and how has the Lord helped you in your suffering?

10. Your deliverance

Paul speaks about how God rescued him from all the afflictions that he faced. How has the Lord rescued or delivered you?

How to Start These Conversations

One way to get started would be to tell your children or grandchildren about this verse, and suggest that when you are together, you would like to have 10 conversations that mirror those Paul would have had with Timothy.

You could use the questions above to start these conversations, and after you have taken the lead in sharing your experience, you could ask your child or grandchild to respond by sharing theirs. Hearing them open up about what they believe and where they struggle will be a great blessing to you and to them.

You have more to share with your children and grandchildren than you may think, and they may have more interest in hearing than you might expect.

[This article is adapted from Pastor Colin’s June 2017 column in Mature Living Magazine.]


Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

Date Posted: Jun 14th, 2017

  • UnlockingtheBible


    Hi, this is Pastor Tim from Unlocking the Bible.

    Sounds like you have endured a lot in your marriage over the years. So sorry, brother. I want you to know how much it honors God when you persevere under pressure because of your love for him. Peter says, “This is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly” (1 Peter 2:19).

    I’m praying for you as I write this and we will pass your request along to our prayer team. So be encouraged! The people of God are praying for you and for your marriage.

    Here’s a bible passage I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Hoping it will encourage you as you face the future with faith, hope and love. Peter also says, “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).

    i. Notice, Peter says our suffering is for “a little while.” It feels like it will never end when we are in the middle of trouble. But Peter is encouraging us to think about it in the light of eternity: Our life here is short, but our life in eternity is long. Your suffering will end, brother. It won’t go on forever!

    ii. Yes, there is a restoring, confirming, strengthening and establishing that God will do in heaven, and every believer has this to look forward to. But I believe Peter is also talking about a restoring, confirming, strengthening, and establishing that he does now in our lives, as we live by faith. Remember when Jesus was tempted by the devil in Matthew 4? At the end of that story, Matthew writes, “Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him” (Matthew 4:11). Think about the faithfulness of God in restoring your hope, confirming your faith, strengthening you in live, and establishing you in Christ, even under your difficult circumstances! You haven’t given up your faith, even after all the trials you’ve been through. That’s a miracle, Mickey! I thank God for your faith and love.

    iii. Mickey, don’t give up. Your reward is too great. Keep trusting the Lord with your marriage. God brought you together and he will continue to provide all you need to persevere. I’m sure you already know these things, but it will not hurt you for me to remind you of them. If you’re not currently attending church, find one and regularly worship with the people of God. It will do more your faith than any counselor could ever do. Maybe put your musical skills to work, serving on a worship team? That would be a great way to serve the people of God! And find a group of godly men for mutual encouragement in God’s Word. Maybe a men’s bible study? Thanks for sharing your heart with us, and may God himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you today in Jesus Christ,