My wife, Dana, and I have been having some conversations about how we plan to raise our 9-month-old daughter. It’s not so much about the “everyday” things (although we have had those conversations as well), but it’s more about the transitions of life that are worth a pause and celebration. We call these milestones.
We haven’t mapped out her entire life’s worth of milestones. I mean she is only 9-months-old! But we have been discussing the first of those milestones: baby dedication. We have absolutely nothing against the way our church or any church does baby dedication. As long as it doesn’t violate Scripture in some way, then I think baby dedication is a great event in whatever format the church decides. It was just a choice for us that we do something different and unique to our family. We wanted the event to be a charge to our family, our friends, and ourselves. We want to be held accountable for the physical and spiritual upbringing of our daughter. We want those that we feel will have an influence on her spiritually or physical development to be a part of this milestone and future milestones.
We haven’t nailed down all the details yet, but here is the framework so far:
Create a Network
We want to invite family and friends, and recognize their role as an influence on the spiritual development of our daughter. We want to invite them to take hold of that influence in her life. We also want this group to hold us accountable to our role as the primary spiritual influence. The have the right to speak into our daughter’s life, as well the life of Dana and me.
Establish Values for Our Family
We want to structure our family around what is most important and model that for our daughter. We are placing a high importance on worshiping as a family, praying as a family, and studying Scripture as a family. Other things that we want our daughter to value are service and giving. We want to establish certain times of year that we model service for her, even at this young age. We understand that our service is never limited to those times, but we do want to be intentional about modeling that part of our Christian duty.
Protect our Marriage
I know that the best thing I can do for my daughter and show her that I love her mother. I want to protect my marriage from the dangers of neglect that often accompany the addition of children. Again, we understand the need for accountability. We are committing to spend time, energy, and money on the enrichment of our marriage, and we want others to hold us accountable for that.
I can’t wait to get together for this milestone. We’re planning on it being a casual dinner where we will explain our intentions and values for parenting. Following dinner, we’ll have a time of prayer to thank God for our daughter and to ask for His guidance in he upbringing. We will also ask others to pray for their role as spiritual influence and an accountability partner.
This event has just been on my heart the last few days, so I wanted to throw the idea out and see if there was any helpful information you could give. I would love to hear if you have done a similar event at your church or for your own child. I will definitely post pictures and stories following the event.