Posts tagged parenting
Why We Dedicate Our Children (Part 3)
ChildDedication_Logo

This is post three on our reasoning behind dedicating our children in the church. If you have missed the previous posts please click (here) for part 1, and (here) for part dos. Week Three: Our Church before Us:

By laying hands on us, our Church is not only commissioning us for the mission of making disciples in our family, but offering to assist us in it.

The last chord has been strummed, the final Amen pronounced, and yet, there is still one more thing that’s about to happen that genuinely excites me: the children get out of nursery. Like a soccer player who scored the winning goal with only seconds left on the clock, one child leads the pack, exploding through the doors with the rest of the team shortly behind him/her.

As we commence the tear down of chairs and stage, I usually find myself wrapping up XLR’s and instrument cables while looking out to see our Church family communing. Amongst the madness I spot one of my daughter leading a charge toward a potentially dangerous situation, and as quickly as the thought pops into her head, I see someone say to her, “Emma, no!” I cannot express to you how much I love that. Why? Because I know that the member who stopped her from getting hurt, even potentially, did so because they love her.

You want to know a little secret? If you want to show someone how much you care for them, love on their children. I think that’s why God has charged us, His people, to be known by our love for one another (John 13:35). By loving each other sacrificially, we not only show the outside world that we are marked by something greater than secular humanism, but we show the Lord how much we love Him by caring for His bride.

All this to say, when our Church family stands before us, as we have made our vows to the Lord in front of them, they say with their words and actions that they will help us to fulfill our vow to the Lord by loving on our children.

They can show their love for our children by:

    • Caring for and protecting our kids as one of their own.
    • Showing our kids Godliness in their words and example.
    • Taking a personal interest in the spiritual well-being of our kids.
    • Giving honest and fair reports of any infractions our little angels may have committed; a testimony we will trust and will discipline accordingly.
    • Interceding on behalf of our children.

This concludes the mini-series of blogs on why we decided to dedicate our children to the Lord. Again, we will be dedicating Lewis, our second child, on Sunday, June 24th, 5:30 PM at The Vineyard. We would love it if you would join us for this special occasion. If you would like directions, please click (here).

Why We Dedicate Our Children (Part 2)
ChildDedication_Logo

This is the second post on our reasoning behind dedicating our children. If you missed last weeks post please click (here) Week Two: Us before our Church.

By making this public declaration before our Church, we are inviting them to hold us accountable to the vows we made to the Lord.

Because we are charged not to neglect the assembly (Hebrews 10:24), it is safe to presume that the local Church is not a chore, but a gift from the Lord to make our stay here as sojourners more enjoyable. One of my favorite things about being a part of a local Church is having a family that is built, not on a genetic legacy, but on the foundation of our mutual love for Jesus Christ. It is because of our partnership in the Gospel that we work together in hopes of seeing lives transformed by the power of the Gospel.

However, teaching others to observe all that we’ve been commanded is not the extent of our calling. We must emulate the example set before us in the Holy Scriptures and continually remind one another of the truth and beauty of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. And not only this, but push one another to take on the attitude of Christ Jesus in every aspect of our life, even our parenting. While this seems like an abstract thought, the application of this charge can be fleshed out in teaching, encouragement, admonishment, or rebuke.

They can do this by:

  • Raising their children in such a way that would set an example for us to follow (Titus 2:4).
  • Encouraging us when they see that we have managed our household well. As an Elder of a Church, it is not only my Christian duty, but a requirement of my position to show good judgement and be disciplined in the way that I raise the children that God has entrusted us with (1 Timothy 3:4-5).
  • Coming directly to us with any concerns/warnings on any deviations from our vows, and not gossiping about us or our children through the guise of a prayer request (Proverbs 16:28).
  • Rebuking us if we refuse to heed to our brother or sister’s warning. This is not a charge to rebuke us if we hold a differing opinion on a particular methodology, but only if we are clearly neglecting a Biblical command concerning the way we ought to raise our children (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Why We Dedicate Our Children

ImageI was asked to compose a brief post on the reasons behind why we dedicate our children to the Lord. However, I cannot do so without disclosing that there is no clear Biblical mandate which dictates the practice of child dedication. So in a way, to each his own. My hope then in writing this post is not to convince you of anything, but to explain to you our reasoning and intentions in choosing to take part in this sacred tradition. Again, while our rationale is not built so much on a specific Biblical imperative, it is formed around an amalgam of Biblical wisdom and simple pragmatics. What I mean is, after considering all the texts concerning children, dedicating our children is what we have decided was best for our family. The purpose of this divulgation is so that you can (I don’t know why anyone would want to) trace the thought process, foundation, and benefits of our thinking.

The train of thought behind why we decided to dedicate our children is a three-fold process, for from our perspective it involves three parties: God, us, and our Church.

While the timing of this post may appear seemingly random, it is not. On June 24th (4 Sundays from now), we will be dedicating the newest addition to the Kakish clan, Lewis David Kakish. In light of this, I will be explaining one point of our rationalization per week.

Week One: Us before God.

A child dedication is a visible act that symbolizes the reality that this child does not belong to us.

Paul tells the church in Corinth that they are not their own, but were bought at a price. For some reason, we have the tendency to assume that this truth does not apply to our offspring; we claim this ownership of them, ‘that’s my kid.’ The Scriptures tell us that children are not only a gift, but a reward from God (Psalm 127:3). But that does not suggest a transfer of ownership, rather we are stewards of these mini-mes. For us, the act of dedication involves making a vow to the Lord to train up our children in the way that they should go, not the way that we wish we would’ve went. We cannot project our visions of self-grandeur onto our progeny, but we are called to help them find God’s will for their life (even when that includes skipping college, becoming missionaries, or not marrying a doctor).

We do this by:

    • Lovingly disciplining them to show them their actions have consequences (Hebrews 12:7-11).  [for more on this, read my previous post why we spank our kids]
    • Diligently teaching them and reminding them of the truth of Scripture (Deuteronomy 6:4-8).
    • Constantly showing them, through even the mundane things, to see the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 12:2).
    • Patiently and thoughtfully leading them to hear the voice of God (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4).
    • Purposefully encouraging them to find their identity in the fact that they bear the image of God and not in self-worth or abilities (Romans 1:25).