“You never know the love of a grandparent until you become one,” quipped an unknown author.
So true. But Norma Jean and I are learning. And learning quickly. Yesterday, we welcomed our fourth grandchild into our lives and hearts–Fern Legend Thompson.
Fern is the second child of our daughter, Rachél, and son-in-law, Jared. Two and a half years ago they blessed us with our first grandchild, Roy, who is so excited to be promoted to big brother.
Our friends and regular readers know the story of Miles, Kenny and April’s son, who was born 8 days after Roy. Exactly five weeks ago they gave birth to their second child, Katherine Joy. Now we welcome Fern, born May 18th at Tampa General Hospital at 8:40 a.m. She weighted in at 7lb 8oz and is 19″ long.
So, now we have two boys and two girls close in age. We feel so blessed. Since the families live in different states the boys haven’t met their female cousins yet. But they’re wanting to! I can only imagine the fun-filled days ahead these four kids are going to have. Not to mention me and Norma Jean.
The Bible says that “grandchildren are the crown of old men” (Prov 17:6). I have to admit that my four star crown feels really good. The Eastern world looked upon a large family as a great blessing from God. But it was more than taking pride in celebrating your ancestors or glorying in your descendants. It was an opportunity to pass on a spiritual heritage.
As I reflect on the birth of baby Fern, I am reminded of the wise man’s statement “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Prov 13:22). We often think of an inheritance as monetary, but it may be the legacy of a good name, family traditions, special memories, or a spiritual heritage. Norma Jean and I trust that we can have a role in providing all the above, especially passing on the spiritual values we’ve taught Rachél and Kenny.
In Moses’ final speech before Israel entered Canaan, he exhorted them to call upon Jehovah. To walk in His statutes. To apply His righteous judgments. “And to teach them to your children and your grandchildren” (Deut. 4:6-9)
We are thankful that both our children are Christians. And they both married Christians. We trust the teaching of Jesus and the values of “the faith once delivered to the saints” will be passed on to Roy, Miles, Katherine Joy and now little Fern.
Jared and Rachél have proven to be wonderful parents to Roy. They are thoughtful. Kind. Loving. Patient. Devoted. And both are so wonderful in the time invested in his spiritual training. We know that the same qualities will be evident as they begin the process of parenting Fern.
Looking yesterday into the beautiful face of our little granddaughter reminded us of the innocence of a child. Her sweetness. Her purity. Her virtue. Yet, Fern’s been born into a fallen world that all to soon will attack her unsullied soul.
In the meantime, little Fern, your parents and grandparents want to imbibe you with the love of God. The joy of Jesus. The goodness of God’s people. The hope of the gospel. And the faith of your spiritual forefathers.
It is our prayer than you grow into a godly, virtuous young woman who serves others and glorifies God. May you become all that you can be.
Your Grammy and Papaw love you, little precious.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman