I believe our culture is beginning to feel the effects of a society that is having their children later in life. A hundred years ago (and practically all of recorded history before that) people married young and had children young. It was unusual for a woman to begin having children after the age of 30. Today, many couples are deciding to finish their college degrees, perhaps complete their post-graduate work, begin their career and possibly pay off their college debt before considering beginning a family.
The unintended consequence of this is that young people are having much less time to spend with their Grandparents. If we take a couple that wait to have their first child at 35 years of age, and if their children wait to have their first child at 35 years of age – that would make the grandparents 70 when their first grandchild is born.
A couple very important points:
1. Not everyone consciously waits. Some may not find their spouse until later; some may not be able to have children until later in life. However, this has always been the case.
2. I have never personally met anyone that did not have fond memories of time spent with their Grandparents. Even if their relationship with their parents was strained, they undoubtedly had a close relationship with at least one of their grandparents. Those years spent learning from Grandma and Grandpa are precious.
3. The Bible speaks often of teaching one’s “children and children’s children”. Grandparents have more experience their parents. This wealth of information is getting lost in our current cultural trends.
4. My wife and I own a farmhouse that is about a hundred and twenty years old. It has an addition on the back that was a separate residence at various times in the homes history. It was built on the back of this house in order to provide a “home” to the original owners child, spouse, and grandchildren. This was often the case. Not only did grandchildren know their grandparents for a longer length of time but they also usually lived in close proximity.
5. Grandparents understand better that their time on earth is limited and their desire is usually greater to instill something to their future relations. Grandparents have more time to spend with their grandchildren due to retirement years. Grandparents can often fill in the gaps that parents have due to their busy schedules.
Time lost with Grandparents cannot be replaced with anything else. This has to be having a negative effect on our young people today.