Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Natalie's Dedication


     A couple of days ago, we dedicated Natalie to the Lord. My husband and I have been praying constantly for the day of Natalie's Dedication and preparing our hearts for it.
    As Natalie's parents, we know that we have the responsibility to take care of her and raise her well. We are her stewards, but we also know that she ultimately belongs to the Lord.
    Even Jesus was dedicated at the temple by his earthly parents, Joseph and Mary.

    So what does it mean to dedicate one's child to God?
    It means the parents are making a commitment to the Lord to bring up their child in the fear of God and faithful instruction of His word. Since Natalie is still too young to make her own choices, we take this responsibility and become accountable for her life until she is mature enough to make decisions on her own.
   When God entrusts us with children, we are not just given the task to take care of them physically but also to nourish them spiritually and emotionally.

    Psalm 127:3 says, 

     "Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him." NLT

     Our pastor shared a wonderful message that we and all other parents and guests learned a lot from. But these three points stood out for me the most:

             We should teach our children God's word and His ways for this is the truth.

           There is life and death in words, so we should speak what is good and positive to our children and encourage them. For every single negative word we say to them, we will need to speak at least ten positive words to undo it. So we need to remember to be careful with what we say and how we say it, and be intentional in speaking words that encourage because words can impact their lives significantly.
          We also have to make it a point to keep promises that we make (because children don't forget!).

         Both Quality Time and Quantity Time are equally important. Spending only quality time with them is not enough. They want us to be there for them as much and as often as possible. For children, LOVE is spelled as T-I-M-E.

    As parents, our commitment is to provide a Christian home for our children and bring them up in the ways of the Lord. We need to live lives that won't be a stumbling block to them, but instead be worthy examples. After all, they have been entrusted to us.

   We also need to surround our children with things that are good and pure to encourage spiritual and moral growth. We are to faithfully pray and diligently teach the word of God to them.

   We also chose godparents for Natalie and their role is not just to give gifts during special occasions (as is commonly expected in our culture), but to serve as a support for us, the parents of Natalie, as we bring her up and raise her. Like us, they are requested to faithfully pray for their godchild and teach her God's word whenever there is an opportunity. 

Our photos during the Dedication officiated by Pastor Ariel Marquez.

     While listening to our pastor's message I was truly blessed and encouraged. I knew that as a parent, I had a big responsibility on my hands. Motherhood is a role that I truly am thankful for and I am amazed at just how I can impact the lives of my children and the generations to come. 

     I encourage you to read Victoria Osteen's Thoughts on Family which talks about Leaving a Legacy of Faith, Words to Build a Home and Praying for your Children

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, 
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."    
                                                          - Mark 10:14 NIV

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