INFANTS: bABY DEDICATION & FOUNDATION

Why thIS IS IMPORtANT:

The birth of a child is an important time for commitment. With most important moments in life there are verbal commitments.  For example, a wedding day or baptism always has a verbal devotion, but there isn’t always a verbal commitment when it comes to the birth of a child. It doesn’t need to be a formal occasion, but it is an important time for you to commit to your family, to God, or to whomever you choose that you will do your best to raise your child in faith.  This is also an important time when your family, your friends, or your church will commit to help you raise your child in faith.

What to do:

Spend some time in prayer about raising your newborn in faith.  You may feel overwhelmed, it's okay. Remember you aren't at this alone, you are partnering with the creator of the world. Establishing a regular time to pray for your newborn and your role as a parent is so important.  Even though bringing your newborn to church may seem like chaos, connecting with a faith community, even when they are tiny and young, lays a foundation of support for you and your family.  

What to expect:

On one of your first Sundays you are at church with your newborn, introduce your baby to the whole congregation.  You may choose to have a small gathering of family and friends.  Make a commitment to raise your child in faith to the best of your ability.  Ask for a commitment from your family, friends, or church to help you raise your child in faith to the best of their ability. Ask God to help everyone strive to teach and model Christianity to your child as he/she grows.

make the most:

Make the most of the time you already spend together by creating some routines in your daily life. When you wake your child up in the morning, greet them with a smile and kind words. When you drive around town, think about what your child is hearing. You may choose to talk to your child or listen to sweet music. When you bathe your child, you can talk about each body part that God made. "God made your eyes to see the world around you". You may choose to begin a bedtime routine. This bedtime routine will grow and develop as your child matures but for now may be a time of comfort and love to cuddle at the end of the day.  

Obstacles:

This whole process may make you incredibly nervous.  That’s okay; that is normal.  This time with family and friends will be so important to set a foundation of love and support for your family and specifically for your newborn as he or she begins life’s journey.

Resources:

Zero To One, Parenting Through The "I Need You Now" Phase", Reggie Joiner & Kristen Ivy

Spiritual Parenting: How Raising Our Children Shapes Our Souls, Gary L. Thomas

 

1-3 YEARS OLD: BLESSINGS

Why this is important:

It is important that we instill in our children a sense of value that comes only from God.  A blessing serves as a way to pass on special value to our children and to show them that God loves them. It demonstrates that their parents think enough of them to want to bless them in the most important areas of life. This is really about passing on a blessing from God to children through their parents.

What to do:

A biblical blessing often includes parents placing their hands on the child and saying encouraging words to them. This can be as simple as saying, “We love you just as you are.  God loves you just as you are. He made you special.”  It can become something more lengthy as the children get older.  Even if they do not fully grasp who God is, or what love is, it is still important to lay a foundation for spiritual upbringing.  

You'll need to figure out what fits best for your family and your routines. This could be part of a nighttime routine to accompany tuck in time. Or perhaps you will choose to give your children a blessing before they leave for school with a warm hug. Find a time and commit to regular blessings. Keep your blessings short enough for you to remember.  Repetition is the key.

Make the most: 

Make the most of the time you already spend together by creating some routines in your daily life. Greet your child each morning with kind and loving words. As you drive around town, think about what your child is hearing. You may choose to talk to your child or listen to sweet music. When you bathe your child, you can talk about each body part that God made. "God bless your hands to do kind and loving things." Spend time each day doing something your child loves. Even 15 minutes. Play dinosaurs in the backyard. Build blocks on the living room floor. Enter your child's world and connect doing what they love. Prioritize your bedtime routine. Even when you are tired and have much to do. This bedtime routine will grow and develop as your child matures. Bedtime may be the perfect time to begin blessing your child. 

Obstacles:

Being a parent of a toddler can be tough! Starting any new routine takes consistency. You may feel akward at first too. Or unsure of just what to say. There are many things in life that can get in the way of what's important. If we view blessings as an important aspect of raising our children in the Lord, we will make time to add this to our often too busy routine. 

Resources:

One and Two, Parenting Through The "I Can Do It" Phase, By Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy

"How To Give A Blessing" 

Parenting with Love & Logic, by Foster Cline and Jim Fay