Parent dedication

So I’m having a bit of anxiety about what I’m about to say. In particular as my husband and I agreed two weeks ago to become godparents. It is an honor and not one we take lightly. That poor kid is stuck with us praying for him for life!

A few weeks earlier, we had the dedication with our own son. We don’t do infant baptism. Dedication is a different ceremony, a different focus but taken no less seriously. The dedication isn’t for him, it is for us. For us as his parents to choose to raise him to the best of our ability in a home that honors Christ. To model for him what it means to make individual and family decisions as well as communal/church decisions to honor God and serve others. We dedicated ourselves asking for the help of our church, family and friends to keep us on track when we are tempted to chuck it all from being too tired, discouraged or simply wanting to break from being so intentional all the time. Most of all, we asked for God’s mercy in advance for how we’ll screw him up and introduced him to his church family letting him know they have his back. That he can watch them too, learn from them, ask questions of them and grow into who God created him to be with them.

On our own, we could never teach him enough about God, create enough sacred spaces for him to know God on his own or offer enough perspective to due God justice. We couldn’t adequately explain that God’s grace is necessary in life. That we are indeed lost without it, without Him. That is part of God’s grace that He extends to us even on the cross. Without God and His plan of the church, we do not believe that we as parents nor our children could ever make it. For this we are grateful.

Below is the letter we read to our son on dedication day.

Dear D,

We would like to welcome you to our family. Whatever that means or will mean for you, it means the world to us. We are so thrilled you’re here.

Your first name, D, means “full of goodness”. Your middle name, A, means“man”. So we have named you believing deeply in the goodness of God’s creative acts – such that your very name affirms God’s message to us: “humanity is full of goodness.” No pressure, son.

We have such dreams and hopes for you… that you will grow to be bold and kind, contemplative and hilarious, thoughtful and sensitive. Mostly, though, we pray that you will seek God, know Jesus, and allow the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. We pray that you both love the Lord and live like one who knows he is loved by God.

We chose a family verse long ago and we welcome you to share it now. Jesus’ message to us in the Gospel of Matthew via The Message reads: “relax, [do] not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. 34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Even though your first steps are months away, we have some suggestions about how you should walk…

• Follow your mom with her unaccountable affection for the church and her people.

• Follow your dad with his unfiltered and unending questions about God and His word.

• Follow your sisters because they love Jesus and will show Him to you.

• Follow your church family because they will be looking out for you in more ways than you will be able to appreciate until you dedicate your own children.

• Follow Pastor H anywhere but to the tattoo parlor :o)

• But most of all, follow Jesus.

We pray that you will be tolerant of our missteps, eager to learn, slow to anger, and humble in each step you take.When your oldest sister S was born, we knew she brought joy to our family and the world. We knew your next sister, E, brought hope to all she encountered. From day one, you embodied peace. For this we are grateful.

We love you. We will do our best. We only ask that you do your best, too. God will take care of the rest.

mom & dad, S & E

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About Amy Jacober

Amy Jacober (PhD, Fuller Seminary) is a youth ministry veteran with ministry and teaching experience. She focuses on practical theology, urban ministry, theology & disability, and marginalized communities. She is a volunteer youth worker in her church and community, lead consultant with Youth Ministry Architects and serves on the Young Life Capernaum national board. In her free time she can be found playing with her three young children, husband, and oversized dog.