This October marks the ten-year anniversary of one of the most remarkable moments of my life — the day I baptized my kids.
I posted my thoughts about the event HERE a few days after it happened. You can also watch the short video HERE. On that day I offered my children to God and to his family. And while it was a dream come true for me as their dad, it was also a frightening moment.
During the worship that morning, I realized that my children would face a painful world without me. I couldn’t be with them during most of the moments of their daily lives. And as they matured, they would face a harsh and painful world without their daddy’s protection. But God cut through all of this by reminding me that my children were his. And then I heard his voice whispering “I will be there.”
Ten years later, as I reflect on God’s faithfulness to that promise, my heart wells with incredible gratitude. Thank you, God, for being there with them.
God has both protected them and formed, for which I am deeply thankful.
Ten years ago, my children’s ages ranged from 7 to 14. I understood each was making a commitment to Jesus at their personal level and that their commitment to him that would continue to grow and take new expression as they matured.
I don’t come from a Christian family. My parents became Christians after me, so I don’t have the personal experience of a faith handed down through generations. Passing down my faith to my kids has been a learn “by the seat of my pants” endeavor. But one thing I know from watching the Faith passed down in other families, it looks different in each generation. One generation’s values and preferences differ from the prior’s. But at its core, the faith in Jesus, the loyal commitment to him and his cause, is the same.
It’s fascinating to see how each my kids’ personal relationships with God have developed. It’s also a little unsetting. Their faith development doesn’t parallel mine or Debbie’s. So they don’t hold all of the values we hold. I’m learning how to coach and advise them from the resources of my personal faith. But most importantly, I’m learning to be content with that.
The important thing is that they belong to God and to his family that stretches time and space.
From personal experience, I know God will continue to speak to them and work through every part of their lives. Their faith will continue to change and develop, influenced by God’s Spirit, people’s influences and life circumstances.
As I look out upon the unknown of the next ten years and beyond, God’s promise to me for my children still rings true, “I will be there.”