May 1, 2008
A Grandparent’s Faith
“I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois
and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
2 Timothy 1:5 (NIV)
My husband Tod’s family went to church faithfully. That’s what they had always done. But once inside the brick walls of home, the story was different. There the masks came off, and Tod and his little brother lived with the painful reality of their parents’ bad choices. Living a double life became the norm for Tod, and he learned early that Christianity was something you put on with your church clothes.
Summer, however, brought more than relief from school, homework and the daily routine of life. Summer brought with it a short relief from living in the craziness of his family, because summer meant time at his grandparent’s home.
Grandma and Grandpa Whitwer were humble people. They served alongside each other as ministers, sacrificially laying down their lives to travel from church to church in the northernmost reaches of our country. They served well into their retirement years, and never gave up ministering to others.
Throughout the years they saw the pain of their son’s choices; choices that drastically affected the lives of their grandchildren. But there was little they could do to intervene. At least it was little in the eyes of the world.
What they did had a lasting impact on Tod. Quietly and consistently, they showed love to Tod. Their never-wavering faith was an anchor. Their unconditional love was like water to a thirsty child. Their integrity was a light on a hill to a lost boy. Amel and Elise Whitwer gave hope to a young boy; hope that there was more to God and to this life than what he knew. Moreover, Tod learned from his grandparents that Christianity was something you lived out every day, not just on Sundays.
Through the faith of two grandparents, I learned that God doesn’t need dynamic preaching to convey His love. Nor does he need people with classy cars, big houses or fancy vacation plans to make an impression. God can change a life, and a generation of lives, using the gentle, consistent, sincere lives of people who love and serve Him.
The faith of a grandmother … the faith of a grandfather …. it changed my husband’s life. It changed my life. And it is changing our children’s lives. Never underestimate the power of faith to make an impact over generations.
Note from Author: Before Tod’s parents passed away, we were blessed to see both of them receive healing and restoration, to God and to their families.
Dear Lord, thank You for the model of faith You have given me through the lives of previous generations. Help me to honor those people who love and honor You. Like them, I long to be a woman who creates a legacy of faith to those who will follow in my footsteps. Help me be the woman You want me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Zondervan Publishing has donated one beautiful Grandmother’s Bible to give away to a Proverbs 31 “Encouragement for Today” devotion reader! To enter to win, post your email address along with a comment on the Proverbs 31 devotion blog by May 3rd. Your comment can include how one or both of your grandparents made a difference in your Christian faith, or how you have impacted your grandchild’s life or encouraged the next generation. Bonnie Schulte of Zondervan will select and announce the winner on May 5th.
Building the Christian Family You Never Had by Mary DeMuth
Visit Glynnis Whitwer’s blog
If your grandparents are still alive, take the time to write them a letter, or call them. If you are a grandparent, write your grandchildren a letter.
Think of an older woman who has been a model of Christian faith. What are some of her most memorable characteristics?
What can you do now to become a woman of faith who will leave a legacy?
Isaiah 55:11, “… so is my word that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (NIV)
Daniel 4:34b, “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.” (NIV)
Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. (NIV)
© 2008 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 01 May 2008.