Extended Family

In Genesis 18, God made a promise to Abraham that his children would become a great nation. It was a promise, but as with all promises, it came with a condition.

…Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of earth shall be blessed in him… For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

(Genesis 18:18, 19).


Notice the trust God places in Abraham: “That he will command his children and his household after him.” This promise was made after Ishmael was a teenager and long before Isaac was born. It was after Abraham had caused himself, Ishmael and all his male servants to be circumcised, thus demonstrating his loyalty and commitment to the God of Heaven (Genesis 17). 

The importance of the condition place upon Abraham, “That he will command his children and his household after him.” must not be overlooked. In fact, the apostle Paul talks about this condition in Titus.

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate,

sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

Titus 2:1-2,

“The Aged Men”

Grandfathers have a special role to play in the upbringing of their grandchildren, but spoiling the little ones is not it! Love for one’s grandchildren is often demonstrated and too often tangible. It seems, though, that the most important part of Paul’s counsel reflects the promise God made to Abraham: “Speak… sound doctrine… be temperate, sound in faith…”

If you fall into the category of “the aged men”, you must know your beliefs. You must be settled and strong in your beliefs. You must be able to share them, guide others, answer questions, point out errors, stand firm, study your Bible and pray.

In addition, you must be sober, grave, temperate, charitable (loving and giving) and patient. Otherwise, your belief system is only knowledge, not character changing. It is the change in character that convicts and convinces the younger generation.

One of the aspects of your personal ministry as a man of experience is helping people understand and solidify their beliefs. In churches where there are disgruntled members, there are severe spiritual battles taking place over what each person believes or should believe.

According to the apostle Paul, “the aged men” must be able to stop the arguments with sound doctrine and sober testimonies. The “aged men” are the spiritual leaders of their homes and charged with being the spiritual leaders of the church family as well.

“Aged Women Likewise”

The apostle Paul doesn’t stop there, though. He also discusses the role of women within the family:

The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed (Titus 2:3-5).


Grandmothers, the most productive help that can come to the aid of a parent with a young child is to have an extended family member who can be trusted to provide sound guidance. Indulgence and petting praise makes it more difficult to be a responsible mother. Inappropriate behaviors that are not corrected and excused away place additional strain on parents.


Nana’s, you are to be living examples of what a God-fearing mother should be, teaching younger women.


Titus 2:3-5


Be not false accusers


Be not given to much wine

Temperate; not given to silliness and giddiness

Teach good things

Virtuous; remaining true to Philippians 4:8

Be sober

To be calm, temperate, restrained

Teach love for one’s husband

To honor and respect

Teach love for one’s children

Tender, diligent care and training

Be discreet

Careful in actions and speech; intentionally unobtrusive

Be chaste

Not having an unholy sexual nature or intention

Be the keeper of the home

Being responsible for the needs of the home and family

Be good

Morally right

Be obedient

Respectful of a trustworthy husband




Being a grandparent is not a rite of passage so much as it is a deeper responsibility.

Young Child Ministries was started with the mission of helping parents with young children understand the Biblical principles of child rearing. Parents are to raise their children so others will like them; so they will be respectful, obedient and humble;1 willing to live and work for God; prepared for the kingdom of Heaven.

It is our job to make sure they succeed. God has entrusted this responsibility to us – just as He trusted Abraham so long ago.



© 2012, C. Gillan Byrne


Speaking appointments are typically scheduled 12 months in advance. 

To schedule a speaking appointment with Dr. Gillan Byrne, please use the email link or call (479) 216-9771.


Titus 2:1-8 (King James Version)

1White, E. G. (1954/2002). Attitude of Relatives (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (pp. 288-289). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.


Complete Published writings of EGW

Bible Gateway website for KJV