For grandparents, perhaps there has never been a better time to support and serve your children and grandchildren.

Fellow grandparents, I don’t know if there has ever been a better time for us to support and serve our children and grandchildren. For obvious reasons, they’re confused, scared and overwhelmed. And let’s face it — we are too. But we have a little more life experience that might help us make more sense of the current pandemic and be able to believe that “this too shall pass.”

I’m not suggesting that we have answers that nobody else has, or that we have no fears. Rather, we are in a unique position to help our younger loved ones navigate the confusion and fear and help them lighten the load. We’ve been in similar situations before and we’ve found ways to cope. In many cases we’ve been strengthened physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Persevering Through Tough Times

Romans 5:3-5 tells us that “…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Have you learned to persevere through tough times? Have you seen how God can use pain and suffering to deepen your faith and increase your reliance on Him? Maybe you, like I, have experienced a hope that transcends the difficult things that life in this world can throw at us. Worldly hope is a “maybe.” As in, I anticipate that things may get better. But biblical hope, grounded in faith in God, provides the certainty that something better is coming. This is the time for grandparents to model and encourage that hope in our children and grandchildren. It’s a way to support and serve them.

A New Hope

Isn’t it interesting that this pandemic first struck as we were beginning to look forward to the Easter season? While our children and grandchildren struggle with real life concerns and feel anxious, perhaps we can help them turn their focus. We can guide them to answers that will never be found on the evening news or in an online chat room. Let’s remind them that we have the certain hope of a life that will be free from confusion, fear and anxiety. That hope can be found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We can empathise with their pain — that’s important — and provide a glimpse of relief and calmer days ahead.

I’m grateful to be a part of my younger family members’ lives. For now, I want to express that gratitude through ways I can support and serve them. A few weeks ago, I was talking with one of my daughters about her fears about this pandemic. During our discussion, I related to her mounting anxiety. But then I gently reminded her that God loves and cares about all of us. We talked about other difficult situations we faced in our family and how God met us in that pain and helped us through. I suspect that there will be more conversations like this to come with my children and grandchildren, and that I’ll continue to serve and support, primarily through listening and offering words of hope. I encourage you to do the same.

© 2020 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Originally published at

Joannie Debrito

As the current Director of Parenting and Youth at Focus on the Family, Joannie DeBrito draws from over 30 years of diverse experience as a parent educator, family life educator, school social worker, administrator and licensed mental health professional.

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