I can remember dressing both my babies in their Sunday best for baby dedication. Both Protestant and Catholic churches have their customs for bringing their children before the church. Some call it baptism or christening, and we call ours dedication. It comes from the verse in I Samuel 1:11, where Hannah had pleaded with God to give her a child since she was barren. If God fulfilled her prayer, she promised to dedicate her son, Samuel, to God. It’s also found in Luke 2:22 with Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the synagogue 40 days after his birth and dedicating him as the custom allowed.
Standing before the church, our minister asked us if we would do our part in rearing our children in a godly home. At the time the answer seemed easy and of course we agreed. Now, as I parent a preteen and an elementary aged child, I see how much our world has changed and the challenges and dangers it presents.
In this day and age of online predators, international terrorists, school shootings, cyber bullying along with so much more, raising kids in this generation is tremendously difficult. I often watch the evening news and wonder what will their world be like when they’re adults? What will our economy be like? What will our environment be like? I hear the broadcaster announce, “nuclear deal reached”. Hard to imagine a peaceful existence for their future.
The hardest part for me as a Mom is not worrying about my kids. I don’t think it ever changes. I know moms whose children are now parents themselves well into their forties. These moms still worry about their adult children. Yet there comes a point when you can’t control everything and have to hand it over to God. Trusting Him with your child. How? When?
Trusting Him to place my child with the right teachers. Trusting Him to guide them in making the right friends. Trusting Him to help them catch that fly ball at the baseball tryout, or nail that tumbling sequence at a dance recital (yes I prayed really hard for that one, because how horrible to fall in a dance recital!).
There are always going to be big and small decisions concerning our children. I have learned that when I start to worry or fret, it’s time to stop and pray. When I do, I can hear that still, small voice say “Trust Me”. And why wouldn’t I? We can run around frantic and concerned, or stop and remember that the very one who knew us while we were being formed in our own mother’s wombs (Jeremiah 1:5), knows our children just as well and has a plan for their lives.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lords, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
My children have a future in Him. I have reminded them that there are people who will try to convince them to follow other beliefs, pursue other interests, and take other’s advice, but to follow Him is what I agreed to help them do as infants. Continuing that promise is something I can’t falter on.
I remember a song I learned as a child, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” It may not seem like it with the chaotic worldwide headlines, but He does have it. He has our family. He has my children. And I am so thankful to have HIM.