After the birth of our youngest, Elsie, our church changed their Parent-Child dedication requirements.
The principle behind the parent-child dedication was the same as it’s always been – a time for parents to publicly commit themselves to raise their children to know God and establish a personal relationship with Christ.
However, the expectations were different this time around. No more just going up to the front, looking pretty and agreeing to a few statements read by the pastor. We had a little more work to do this time around.
Specifically we, the parents, were asked to write a blessing for the child we were dedicating that we would read aloud to the congregation. Not only was it a blessing that we would pray over our daughter at the dedication, but it was a blessing that we’d pray for Elsie when she started school one day. And a prayer that we’d pray for Elsie before leaving home (for good) eventually. And of course, a blessing we’d read to her on her wedding day as a declaration of our love for her and her (new) husband.
To put it lightly – it was a hugely humbling task.
We searched scripture, re-read some of our favorite parenting books (like Grace Based Parenting and Raising Kids for True Greatness) and ultimately prayed that God would give us clarity as we wrote Elsie’s Blessing.
The dedication day came and went but our hearts have never been the same.
In an effort to remind ourselves of the promises we made to Elsie at her dedication, I recently designed the poster below that we’ll hang on her wall as a declaration of the things we promised to do on Sept 11, 2011.