I remember the Sunday when my pastor told our congregation about Katie, his daughter. Katie was not married, but she was pregnant. That, said pastor, made him a grandfather. He confessed that the circumstances were not what God intended; nevertheless, he and his family promised to give Katie all the support she needed. The promise was kept.
Katie’s son — my godson — knows the love of both mother and grandparents. Katie took the vocation of motherhood seriously. She put her son’s needs before her own, yet still managed to graduate from college and became a teacher. Katie’s mom often traveled three hours one way in order to offer support to her daughter and grandson. When I think of my godson, I am reminded of young Timothy who was nurtured in faith by Eunice and Lois, his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). Life was not easy for this family. Adjustments were made. But, as my godson prepares to graduate from high school, I know he has brought great joy to his mother and grandparents.
Two other young woman in my congregation became pregnant, but were not married. Their families were hurt and disappointed. There were tears and long discussions late into the night. But, the parents of these girls knew that their daughters were entrusted by God with the precious gift of new life. More important than convenience or neighborhood gossip was the protection of those lives.
Like Katie, both of these young, unmarried mothers confessed and were forgiven of their sins. They heard the tender words of Jesus Christ: “Come to Me and I will wash you white as snow.” They knew the unconditional love of parents who saw a future of hope for their grandchildren.
We live in a sin-filled world. We doubt God’s Word. We let our selfish desires and fears influence our thinking and behavior. And, yes… there are consequences for every choice we make.
But Jesus, who gave everything He had for us, wants to bring us out of darkness into light and away from despair to hope. This is what parents do when they unconditionally love their unmarried but pregnant daughter; when they unconditionally love their son who has fathered a child but is not married to that child’s mother. This is what grandparents do when they welcome their grandchildren – no matter what the circumstances of their conception.
Some grandparents fear their grandchildren. They see them as “inconvenient.” They may say, “Our daughter has college and her future to think about.” Or, “Our son is too young to be a father.” Failing to trust God, they take their daughters to Planned Parenthood for a “quick and easy fix” or give their sons money to abort their grandchild. We pray for these grandparents – that they will recognize their sin, confess their lack of faith, and ask for forgiveness from daughters or sons.
Many grandparents would have welcomed their “too soon” or “unplanned” grandchildren, but they were never given the opportunity. They mourn in silence. God understands the heaviness of these grandparents’ hearts. He wants them to entrust the grandchildren they never knew to His care. He wants them to forgive daughters and sons. In Christ, there is forgiveness and healing for abortion just as there is for every other sin.
A grandparent is a grandparent even of a dead child. For those grandparents who feared their grandchildren because they might be an “inconvenience,” there is hope in Jesus Christ. A grandparent may forget that a “fetus” (Latin: “young one”) is created and redeemed by God, but God does not forget a grandparent. A grandparent may mourn the grandchild they will never hold, but God comforts the brokenhearted.
God, in His mercy and grace, is faithful.
The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and his righteousness to children’s children . . . (Psalm 103:7 ESV).
Grandparents who love life make a difference for generations to come.
We will tell the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord . . . and the wonders that He has done . . . We will teach our children so that the next generation might know . . . yes, even children yet unborn (Psalm 78:2-8 ESV).
Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord (Psalm 103:18 ESV).