The Unique and Crucial Calling to Grandparents Podcast by John Stonestreet for BreakPoint
Grandparents are among the most recent group of people to be labeled “toxic” in our culture. Even before the pandemic, more and more parents of adult children are victims of what has been called “relational minimalism.” It’s a brutal reality for many.
I first began to see this trend several years ago, after publishing A Practical Guide to Culture with my friend Brett Kunkle.
Parents, teachers, pastors, and anyone interested in the next generation were our intended audience for the book. What I didn’t anticipate was the incredible number of grandparents who not only read the book, but started using it as a resource to understand the culture of their grandchildren.
In fact, in a one month span before the COVID lockdowns, I spoke with more than 1,000 grandparents about the content of the book. Many told stories of being effectively canceled from their grandchildren’s lives. Some were canceled by the grandchildren themselves, while for others, their grandchildren’s parents distanced them because of disagreements about theological, philosophical, cultural, moral, or political issues. All this was happening within the larger cultural narrative that a grandparent’s main role is to retire, move somewhere warm, and send checks for birthdays, graduations, and other occasions.
Several years ago, I was introduced to the concept of Christian grandparenting in connection with a terrific ministry called the Legacy Coalition. The Legacy Coalition’s mission is to help grandparents recognize the essential role they play in the faith development of their grandchildren, to see grandparenting as a calling to help raise the next generation to champion the faith in this time and in this place.