Head of School Thoughts
The Value of Grandparents
Whether you are “Grandpa”, “Papa”, “PawPaw”, “Granddad”, “Gramps”, “Pops”, or “Poppy” -- “Grandma”, “Granny”, “Mama”, “Nana”, “MawMaw”, “Gram” or “Meemommy”, please know how important you are to your Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren.
According to the Book of Genesis, the patriarch Noah lived to be 950 years old; 350 of those years were after he and his sons and their families left the ark. After the Flood, age spans dropped quickly over the next several generations. If one takes the time to trace out the genealogies and ages descended through Noah’s son Shem described in Genesis 11, Noah was blessed to see 10 generations of decendents born (wouldn’t Ancestry.com have fun with that family tree!).
He got to see the birth of his son Shem (before the Flood) and then, after the Flood, he saw the birth of his grandson Arpachshad, his great-grandson Shelah, his great-great-grandson Eber, his great-great-great-grandson Peleg . . . all the way to the birth of his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson Abram.
That’s right, Abraham and Noah overlap by 50 years.
Throughout scripture, Abraham is honored as our standard for faith. It is interesting in Hebrews 11, the great chapter about faith, the writer talks about the faith of Noah (verse 7) who “in holy fear built an ark . . . and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith” and then in the very next passage (verses 8-12) the faith of Abraham is honored.
How much was young Abram (God changed his name to Abraham when he was 99 years old) influenced by his visits with his aged grandfather Noah? Can’t you just see the look of wonder on young Abram’s face as Noah told him about riding out that storm on the crowded ark?! Even today, old people (including me) will recall stories about terrible storms years ago; multiply that many times over and you have the context of Noah talking to his young descendent!
I believe the seeds of Abraham’s great faith were first planted when he sat on the knee of ancient Noah. And, as he was navigating the storms of adolescence and early adulthood, I wonder how many times Abraham sought the advice of Grandpa Noah.
Grandparents, you are important in the lives of your grandchildren. You have a repository of wisdom and experience to make a positive difference on your grandchildren . . . who knows maybe even on your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren!
Dr. Michael E. Weimer