June 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm , by Nick Shell
A few weeks ago on Mother’s Day, my wife and I had Jack “dedicated” at our church. If you are not familiar with this Protestant practice, a “baby dedication” is a public ceremony where the parents of a new baby promise, in front of the pastor and the congregation, to grow up their child in the faith. As Jack’s parents, it is our responsibility to lead and guide him in our own moral and spiritual beliefs.
My son will not be left on his own to figure out who God is and why we believe that God’s love is the reason for our existence. Sure, Jack will have to make up his own mind when he gets old enough, but my faith is so crucial to every fiber of my being, that as a father I believe that one of the most important tasks I will ever have is to teach my son about the next life, as well as, teaching him to love others as himself in this life.
While I do value the public act of dedicating my son to the building up and growing of the heavenly kingdom we believe comes after this earthly life, the private version happened before he was even born. As Jack was still in the womb, I prayed for him. And now that he’s here, I continue to pray for him. After all, I believe that I haven’t simply brought another life into this world, but that I am also responsible for bringing another soul into existence– a soul I am unmistakably accountable for teaching what I believe is the meaning of life.
Whether you have been following my daddy blog since the beginning (April 13th, 2010) or whether you just recently started tuning in thanks to Parents.com picking up my series, something noticeably undeniable yet decently subtle in my writing content is the intertwining of my family’s everyday life events and our Christian faith. According to Wikipedia, nearly 80% of Americans identify themselves with Christianity (from Catholic to Protestant, and everything in between). So I would assume that nearly 80% of readers will identify with me when I write about my faith. For the other 20%, who have a different religion or maybe not one at all, please know that I welcome you just as much to The Dadabase.
Because no matter which faith we call our own, something we all have in common is that we are parents. We have children who we are trying to raise the best we can. And just like the faith of our choosing, so parenting is also a journey. By no means do I have my faith 100% figured out- I’m being humbled and broken down more everyday, and therefore maturing as a believer.
Just like, as a parent, I’m learning as I go.