I listened as her testimony was read, and watched with a sense of reverence mixed with pride as she was baptized, proclaiming to all that she is a follower of Jesus, that she is His.
My younger daughters observed the goings-on with a little bit of awe, I think, and I hope they somehow sensed the significance of this moment, this outward testimony of an inward consecration. My little son belly-laughed. It was funny to watch his big sister get dunked in water in church. Somehow, I hope he caught the importance of the service, too. He understands more than we realize, I think.
Two of my children have come to a knowledge of God's saving grace, and I pray that the day will come soon when my youngest two will understand and surrender to Jesus, too.
This is our goal as parents. That our children will grow "in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." (Luke 2:52). We have such a relatively short time with our children and so often we're too concerned with the state of our physical dwelling or the clothes we wear or even with academic progress, and we forget to concentrate on what is really important. The soul.
This hymn was sung during the baptismal service, and it spoke to my heart as it always does.
A Charge to Keep I Have
A charge to keep I have,
a God to glorify,
a never-dying soul to save,
and fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
my calling to fulfill;
O may it all my powers engage
to do my Master's will!
Arm me with jealous care,
as in thy sight to live
and oh, thy servant, Lord,
prepare a strict account to give!
Help me to watch and pray,
and on thyself rely,
assured if I my trust betray,
I shall forever die.
Take time today to focus on this. To examine your priorities and goals, and to ask the Father to grant wisdom and fresh strength for the awesome responsibility of parenting. I'll be doing the same.
Then, take an extra minute and go hug those little ones...just because...because life happens so quickly, and they grow up all too soon.