On Friday, November 1, 2013 my wife Jerilyn and I entered into a new season of our life. We became Grandparents to Chaucer Whitt Johnston born to our son and daughter-in-law Grady and Ann Johnston. We were excited to hear the news they were expecting back in the early part of 2013 and then to receive the news that our grandson Chaucer was born was wonderful news. Jerilyn and I have prayed for the baby since we first heard that Grady and Ann were expecting and now that he has been born our prayers continue for Chaucer, Grady and Ann.
Many years ago I met a writer, speaker and radio talk show host Irene Endicott who had a passion for Grandparents. I begin learning about the grandparenting season from Irene as well as learning from my parents and Jerilyn’s parents. Irene Endicott and Ferris Jordan wrote a book Grandparenting By Grace. The following is adapted from them.
a. Grandparents ought to be teachers to their grandchildren about God’s love. Isaiah 12:2-6
b. Grandparents ought to tell of God’s faithfulness toward our family. Deuteronomy 4:9
c. Grandparents ought to share family history with grandchildren.
d. Grandparents ought to be intentional to have some play times with grandchildren.
e. Grandparents ought to be an encourager to their grandchildren.
f. Grandparents ought to provide a listening ear to their grandchildren and children.
g. Grandparents ought to be wise and note hold a critical spirit.
h. Grandparents ought to be a blessing to grandchildren.
i. Grandparents ought to be a prayer warrior for their grandchildren. Matthew 21:22
I will pray daily for the role Jerilyn and I have in the life of Chaucer. My parents and Jerilyn’s parents were a huge influence to me as a father and tremendous grandparents to our sons. I pray that I can take some of their instruction to be the Papa J that God would have me be to Chaucer.
I am thankful for Bob Hostetler a writer, speaker and teacher that has influence my life. Bob crafted the following 31 Virtues to pray for children and (Grandchildren). I pray daily for my family and I will use the following 31 Virtues to pray for Chaucer.
2. Growth in Grace—”I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 3:18)
4. Honesty and Integrity—”May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection.” (Ps. 25:21)
5. Self-Control—”Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.” (1 Thess. 5:6)
6. Love for God’s Word—”May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb.” (Ps. 19:10)
8. Mercy—”May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
9. Respect (for self, others, and authority)—”Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands.” (1 Pet. 2:17)
10. Biblical Self-Esteem—”Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:10)
11. Faithfulness—”Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.” (Prov. 3:3)
12. Courage—”May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions.” (Deut. 31:6)
13. Purity—”Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions.” (Ps. 51:10)
14. Kindness—”Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” (1 Thes. 5:15)
15. Generosity—”Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.” (1 Tim. 6:18-19)
16. Peace-Loving—”Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace.” (Rom. 14:19)
17. Joy—”May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thes. 1:6)
18. Perseverance—”Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them.” (Heb. 12:1)
19. Humility—”God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all.” (Titus 3:2)
20. Compassion—”Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.” (Col. 3:12)
21. Responsibility—”Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load.” (Gal. 6:5)
22. Contentment—”Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives them strength.” (Phil. 4:12-13)
24. A Servant’s Heart—”God, please help my children develop servant’s hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men.” (Eph. 6:7)
25. Hope—”May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)
26. Willingness and Ability to Work—”Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord and not for men.” (Col. 3:23)
27. Passion for God—”Lord, please instill in my children a soul that ‘followeth hard after thee,’ one that clings passionately to You.” (Ps. 63:8)
28. Self-Discipline—”Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.” (Prov. 1:3)
29. Prayerfulness—”Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers.” (1 Thess. 5:17)
30. Gratitude—”Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20; Col. 2:7)
31. A Heart for Missions—”Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among the peoples.” (Ps. 96:3)
In addition to praying for Chaucer I will look forward to the times we can spend together. While the distance is great at this time I am thankful for technology that provides opportunities for us to see him and communicate to him.
In closing I want to offer the following congratulations:
To Grady and Ann we rejoice with you in the birth of your first-born child.
To Jerilyn I am excited to share this season of life with you. You will be a wonderful Mimi to Chaucer.
To Steve and Linda Feaga the parents of Ann and grandparents to Chaucer I offer my congratulations to you and know Chaucer will love you and your entire family.
To Jody and Paul, congratulations on being an Uncle to Chaucer.
To Jayne and Faith congratulations on being an Aunt to Chaucer.
To the great-grandparents congratulations and thanks for loving Chaucer and encouraging Grady and Ann on their journey s parents.
To our extended family thanks for sharing and rejoicing with us in this new season of life.
With a Grateful Heart,