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Nana Time!

In a time when grandparents (and even parents) are made to feel they have little to offer, I want to challenge readers to see God’s intent for these special roles—namely, a lasting impact and a legacy of faith for their families. So whether you are a parent, a grandparent, have made your parents grandparents, or have grandparents still living, this blog is for you.
After strapping my 3-year-old grandson, Kirk, snugly into his car seat, my daughter made her way around to the opposite side of the car to jump into the front passenger seat. As she proceeded to buckle herself in, a little voice behind me asked (with a tone that could only be described as flustered), “Mama, why are you here? I wanted Nana time!”
This past weekend, and just a week after the previous scenario, Kirk came to stay overnight and went to church with us on Sunday. As we sang some of his favorite songs in Sunday School, he snuggled up against me, rubbed my arm, and whispered, “I love you, Nana.”
They told me it would change my life and that I would never be the same, and they weren’t kidding! Yes, indeed, one of the noblest appointments I have received in my time here on this earth is that of becoming a grandparent—or Nana, if you will—to two amazing children (so far!). The first appointment came on March 11, 2019, and the second on May 27, 2020. Since those dates, Kirk and Layla have caused my heart and my perspective to expand beyond measure.
Though seven states and almost 800 miles prevent my husband and me from having equal time with our granddaughter, when we do get to be with her, we try to make up for that with special time and memories. In the interim, we take advantage of the modern conveniences cell phones provide for distance relationships. Watching her face light up and hearing her giggle with delight when she sees us on a FaceTime call makes our hearts skip a beat or two each time. We love that little girl more than words convey.
Recently, Reasons for Hope produced a film entitled, Within Our Reach, in which the target audience—adults in positions of influence with young people such as parents, grandparents, youth pastors, pastors, and teachers—was challenged to invest more in the rising generation to help prevent their exodus from the church. As I participated in, and later watched, this production, I felt an overwhelming tug on my heart and soul reminding me of my pivotal role to be there for my children and grandchildren: to be present with observant eyes and listening ears, to be available with my time and attention, and to be godly in my beliefs and behaviors.
Click below to watch the trailer for this film.
As I write this, I’m thinking of my own grandparents—wonderful human beings who always made time for me, taught me things about our family and our traditions, and loved me unconditionally. Though I don’t recall my maternal grandmother attending church, it was she who purchased my first Bible for me, engraved with my name on the front cover. She acknowledged and feared God, and recognized that she could play a part in conveying to me that God’s Word should have a place of priority in my life.

I believe that God’s inspired Word included this specific clause to send a message that should resonate for posterity—the role of parents and grandparents in leaving a legacy of faith can not be overstated.

Yes, God places a great deal of importance on the role of grandparents. I think I first became aware of this divine emphasis when studying 1 and 2 Timothy. The Apostle Paul recounts the faith he has noted in his younger disciple and recognizes the godly heritage in which Timothy was raised: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Timothy 1:5).
The honorable mention of Lois as a major influencer of a committed faith in Christ for both her daughter and grandson should not be taken lightly. I believe that God’s inspired Word included this specific clause to send a message that should resonate for posterity—the role of parents and grandparents in leaving a legacy of faith can not be overstated. And, it could literally mean the difference between a child staying in fellowship with God or walking away from their faith.
That’s where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. You see, I have an important, life-changing message that my grandchildren need to hear from me: that God loves them more than I ever could (and that’s an awful lot!); He showed that love by not only creating them and giving them free will, but by providing a solution for the consequences of bad choices they make. Through His unfailing wisdom, love, mercy, and grace, God gave His only and sinless Son to pay the penalty for our sin so that we, through Christ’s sacrifice, would not have to pay, but could have eternal life. It’s His gift, and all we need to do to have it is to believe it and receive it.  

"... we have to continue to be there: to be present with observant eyes and listening ears, to be available with our time and attention, and to be godly in our beliefs and behaviors."

But wait, there’s more . . . it’s not enough to just share the gospel (the good news of Christ’s salvation); we have to continue to be there: to be present with observant eyes and listening ears, to be available with our time and attention, and to be godly in our beliefs and behaviors—answering their questions OR learning the answers to their questions with them. You see, that’s why they’re walking away from their faith, . . . they haven’t been equipped with the knowledge and understanding of why they believe what they believe, and why what they believe is so important.
Grandparents (and parents, too!), Reasons for Hope is here to support you in this adventure and calling. Our resources and tools are prepared for you to become heroes of the faith for your children and grandchildren. With that being said, I want to encourage you, first, to watch Within Our Reach for yourself (and with other parents and grandparents). Many churches have shown this film during Sunday School, evening, or midweek services, and are acknowledging collectively that our children are within our reach and that God can use us to pull them away from the worldly influences that will drown them in doubt and disbelief.

Click HERE to access the full-length film, Within Our Reach.

Please note our resources below (many available at no charge) to support you in your unique role as a spiritual influencer within your family.

Deuteronomy 4:9
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—

It should then go without saying that we need to MAKE TIME for "Nana (and/or Grandpa) Time."

We Have an App for That!

Our app is FREE and is designed to encourage you in your walk with Christ and to train and equip you and your family in staying bold in your faith. Just click HERE, and look for the blue asterisk on the black background.

Our Newest Releases!

We also encourage you to purchase our newest ministry book, Did Jesus Commit Suicide? And 27 Other Questions That Teens Have About the Bible (that adults want to know, too) to help you answer questions from a biblical worldview that teens are asking today. Click HERE.
IMPACT curriculum trains and equips young adult believers to stand boldly on the Word of God. It helps them know why they believe what they believe so that, in turn, they can live and share their faith with confidence.

Unit 1: Foundations begins with the basic principles of apologetics, biblical worldview, and critical thinking. This groundwork prepares students to unpack the rich content of the attention-grabbing DeBunked videos while they build relationships with others, actively apply the lesson content, and find true purpose in planting seeds of faith in a world that needs the hope of Christ. Click HERE to see other related products or to order this valuable resource.
Author Bio:
Holly Varnum, Director of Curriculum Development at Reasons for Hope joined us September 2021 to launch curricular materials to support many of our media resources. With degrees in education, curriculum and instruction, and educational administration, she comes with over three decades of experience in working with teens and adults in camp ministry, teaching and administration, and curriculum writing (A Beka Book, Focus on the Family, and Answers in Genesis to name a few). God has provided her with a well-rounded educational perspective through service in Christian schools, charter schools, public schools, homeschooling, Christian camps, and local church ministry. She has been a classroom teacher, instructional coach, administrator, camp counselor, Sunday School teacher, ladies’ Bible Study teacher, and conference speaker and looks forward to using her passion for God’s truth within the context of Reasons for Hope.

Her hobbies include cooking and baking, hiking, camping, travel, and working on do-it-yourself projects. Holly and her husband, Paul, (RforH*’s Special Content Manager) also enjoy any time they can spend with their three grown daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren (so far!). They live in the beautiful state of Maine, and yes, eat lobster (properly pronounced “lobstah”) whenever they get a chance!
To learn more about Holly, or to book her as a speaker for educational, ladies', or girls' events, click HERE.
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