Yesterday was a special day for our family. Levi was able to participate in the Parent/Child Dedication at his church. Suzanne and Adam attend a different Baptist Church than we do, so we went there for the service. Suzanne’s parents and brother also attend there, so we met up with them all before the service.
All the children born in the last year were introduced to the congregation, as well as their parents
Even though Sweet Levi was up way past his bedtime…he did just fine. But, thank goodness Adam had on a tie, because Levi was in a chewing mood and the tie fit the bill just fine.
The charge was made to the parents that they should rear their children with the teachings of the Bible as their guide. They were encouraged to attend church and bring their children up in church. They were charged to teach their child about God and His saving grace. If they agreed, they said “We will.” Then the charge was made to the congregation to be ready to assist these young families as needed with guidance, encouragement and support. They also said “We will.” Then the pastor had a prayer asking God’s blessings on each child and his family and asking him to guard and protect them. He prayed for wisdom for the parents as they raised their children in the knowledge of God.
Different denominations believe many things about infant baptism. As Baptists, we believe that each person has to acknowledge his sins and lost condition and invite Jesus to forgive him and be the Lord of his life. This, we believe, is the only way to eternal salvation…a personal decison between you and Jesus. Therefore, this service was not a baptism or a christening, but rather an dedication of the child to be raised in the knowledge of God. Some denominations have the belief that infant baptisim protects your child until he is old enough to make that decision for himself. Baptists believe that God keeps all children safe unto Himself until they have reached their own age of accountability. (This is in no way meant to say that you are not doing the right thing if you believe differently. That is a personal decision and everyone has to decide for himself how best he can worship. This is just the way we as Baptists believe.)
Then we, as the congregation, sang several children’s songs and the pastor brought a message on Godly Parenting. It was a very nice service, and Don and I and Suzanne’s parents were very proud of our children and grandson. We ended the evening with dinner out at a local steakhouse. How blessed Sweet Levi is to have so many people who will love and care for him throughout his life. He has parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, great aunts and uncles, and a great granddaddy! As well as many friends who are as close as family. He will also have a church family that will become to mean so much to him as he matures. These are blessings we do not take lightly. It breaks my heart that there are so many, many children who do not have safe places to live or even safe people to care for them. It is such a tragedy, in today’s world, that the safety and care of our children is not more of a concern. So, we are very mindful of our blessings.
And, to Adam and Suzanne…always look to God for your guidance. Levi came with an instruction book…the Holy Bible. Love him, and enjoy him, and treasure him, and teach him. Grow with him as you venture into parenting for the first time. There’s lots of fun ahead…as well as tensions and frustrations. But, you have plenty of help to guide you…help from above…and from both sets of your parents. Remember, we are pros at the parenting thing, don’t you know? Look at how well you two turned out! Blessings, always to your new family.