I was having one of those parenting days. You know. Those days. My child was losing his ever-loving mind, bless his heart. And I was getting dangerously close to losing mine. So, I did the only thing a logical mother does in her time of stress… I sent everyone to their rooms for a family-wide timeout. Even the poor four-year-old who, much to our surprise, was acting like the calmest member of our family. Everyone just calm down already!
I was lying on my bed trying to regain my composure, so I turned on my computer for a “digital escape” from the chaos all around me. That’s when I saw it. And that’s when I started to laugh.
It was an e-mail, but not just any e-mail. An e-mail from the church’s Children’s Ministry leader asking me to write a blog article about Child Dedication. The irony.
Child Dedication felt like a million light years ago. Back when our baby was a squishy little pile of smiles that I felt I had a little control over. Back when “PawPaw Chuck” said his firm and beautiful prayer for this child’s life, upbringing, and future faithfulness. In this joyful service, we expressed our full appreciation to God for this miracle of life given to us.
Child Dedication is a simple ceremony that marks parents’ commitment, and the commitment of the church family, to do the very best to lead kids into a trusting, loving, and lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ. In this simple ceremony, infants, toddlers, older children, and their parents are introduced to the church family. This church family affirms their commitment to love and support these parents while pointing the way to Christ for the children being raised in the church. It’s not baptism, it’s not securing their spot in Heaven, it won’t make them ideal, problem-free children…but it’s a good start. Child Dedication is a one-time event, but raising godly kids takes a lifetime.
It’s been eight years since we dedicated our oldest son. Sometimes it feels like 60 years since that day, and sometimes it feels like 60 seconds. Now our baby talks back, has a temper, rolls his eyes, and…has opinions! But, as I started to reminisce about the days of Hudson being a baby, I started to slowly remember the sweetness of that time period in our lives, when our entire family was being established and starting fresh. I remember how this special church walked right beside our new family and loved the socks right off our feet.
We’ve since added another son to our quiver, but he’s a blog post all on his own. The consistent thing that has brought my husband and I much peace throughout this parenting adventure is the unwavering support of our church. A church that lovingly prayed with us during Child Dedication Ceremonies for both our children and has walked beside us every day since. A church that has taught us about grace and truth…and the importance of being available to our children on a daily basis. A church that has given us practical (and fun!) tools to store away in our parenting toolbox.
I’m so thankful that God created us all with a hunger and desire for relationships, both relationships with Him but also with others. Nothing grows in this universe without support and nutrition. Especially families! Oh, how we need each other so that our families can grow into strong “cities on a hill.”
14 “You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:14 -16, GNT)
Take a minute today to remember those days of dedicating your children to the Lord and to your church. Remember the prayer you prayed over your sweet child. Never stop inviting our wonderful church to walk beside you in this great adventure called parenting!
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (NASB)
Katie and her husband, Tom, have been attending Stonebriar Community Church since 2006. They have two energetic boys, Hudson and Jude. Katie has used her passion to love and minister to families through various roles in the Missions and Children’s ministry including family mission trips, international mission trips, assisting with Child Dedication, and serving children’s ministry volunteer nursery workers. Katie has a degree in Public Relations and has worked in various industries including government, non-profit, publishing, ministry, and corporate. Her days are kept very busy homeschooling their oldest son, Hudson. Tom and Katie are often found traveling the globe together and love to see God’s work among the nations.