When he was just a month old, my husband and I dedicated our second-born son to the Lord before the congregation of Neighborhood Assembly of God Church in Okinawa Japan. In the ceremony conducted by our pastor, Charles W. Butterfield, we made a commitment that we were serious about fulfilling….to raise our son in the Christian faith and to do our best to teach Him to love, serve and follow Jesus.
Fast forward seven years to Blue Springs Assembly of God Church in Missouri. Our little “spitfire,” as Pastor Jeff Kelderman referred to him, was now seeking permission from us to be baptized. He had witnessed others make the commitment to follow Christ and subsequently confess their faith publicly through baptism. Our tradition of faith holds to what is called “believer’s baptism,” baptism which is based on one’s profession of faith in Christ. Our little guy, without any prompting, had made that profession. He was now persistent in his desire to be baptized. We knew that he was young, but after his continual requests, we spoke to Pastor Jeff who saw no reason to hold him back.
Parenthood is extremely challenging. It’s scary and stressful and exhausting. Flawed parents raising flawed children. But it’s worth it. Every moment. Thanks be to God, parenting is also very rewarding. When you catch a glimpse of your child in his room with his little hands raised in the air and eyes closed while worshipping God to a Michael W. Smith song or when as a third grader, he asks to sing a worship song in front of the church congregation, you whisper a prayer of thanks to God. When you have the privilege of watching him become a godly man who, with his wife, are raising their two little girls in the Christian faith, you thank God for His faithfulness to His promises.
We realized early on as parents that even young children are able to comprehend simple and sometimes deeper truths of the Bible and that we should not underestimate them. God has a way of speaking to their hearts and He certainly has the ability to impart faith in them. There is no greater responsibility for Christian parents than to teach their children the word of God and to keep the Christian faith the priority of the home and of their lives. Children are capable of learning and understanding the things of God so much so that Jesus even presented them as examples of the type of faith that adults should have. In Matthew 18:3, He said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
HOPE NUGGET: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. [Proverbs 22:6]