One of the most impactful relationships I had growing up was with my grandfather. I spent a lot of time with him until he passed away when I was 11.

He was not a rich man, but the spiritual inheritance and legacy he left me is invaluable. His main contribution to my life was cultivating my heart which paved the way for me to trust Christ.

Here are three gifts my grandfather gave me that help prepare me to receive God’s gift of salvation.

1. The gift of undivided attention.

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents because both of my parents worked. Every day, I waited in anticipation until 4:30 when my grandfather would come home from work. The reason was that he would spend time with me, giving me his undivided attention. He read to me, taught me how to throw a football, and even allowed me to help him with projects. I felt valued and important to him because when he was with me, he paid attention to me and was not distracted with other priorities.

Giving kids undivided attention helps show them that they are valuable, important, and worthy of love. It also models God’s love for them. You may not have hours to give a child every day, but you can make sure that you carve out undistracted time for them on a consistent basis.

2. The gift of unconditional love.

I treasure my memories of my grandfather because he accepted me and loved me as I was. He did not highlight my flaws, make me feel “less than”, or use condescending words or tones when he communicated with me. I knew I was important to him, but also knew that Jesus was important to him. Therefore, Jesus became important to me.

This made me want to be around him and, more importantly, trust him. Trusting my grandfather helped set the stage for me to trust Christ later on.

When we show children unconditional love, we model the Lord’s love for them. We don’t have to clean up our act or change into someone we are not to come to Christ. We come to Christ just as we are, as sinners in need of a Savior, and God meets us where we are and transforms us into what He wants us to be.

3. The gift of an uncomplicated gospel.

My grandfather read to me from the Bible in a lawn chair underneath a dogwood tree. He would read a little, then explain what he read in terms I could understand. This made it interesting and engaging for me. I can’t ever remember being rushed or manipulated by him to trust Christ. He simply sowed the seeds of the gospel, allowing them to marinate in my soul. Those seeds germinated later in life thanks in part to his loving cultivation.

When you share the gospel with children, use terms, language, and illustrations they understand and can relate to. Also allow room for the Holy Spirit to work by not pressuring them into a decision about which they don’t fully understand.

I am now in my 50’s and have been walking in the Lord for a long time. However, I can trace the roots of my walk all the way back to my grandfather’s influence. If you have children in your life that you can influence for the gospel, don’t underestimate the role of cultivation. Spend time with them, love them, and plant the seeds of the gospel trusting God to bring a harvest in His perfect timing.