Eternity is Forever

Last weekend we celebrated our baby’s baptism.  All theological discussions about infant baptism can take place elsewhere ;) , but the message that we received that morning might be appreciated by parents of many faith traditions.

(The cool water was a bit of a shock to my sleeping baby!)

As new parents, it’s understandable that we focus much of our efforts on our baby’s earthly survival.  Physical needs have an immediacy about them. Babies rely on us to stay fed, dry, warm, and healthy.  Decisions must be made in rapid fire succession.  Cloth or disposable?  Formula or breast?  Vaccines or supplements?

Parenting doesn’t get any easier as our children grow, either.  It’s important that our children learn to brush their teeth, manage their money, and drive a car.  It’s necessary that they get an education and learn to wash their clothes and change tires.  Preferably our children will be trained to earn an income and live independently.

Gulp.

We want so much for our children.  We want their life to be fun and joy-filled, full of friends and beauty and success.  We sacrifice to meet their earthly desires.  We come to their rescue when they get knocked down, physically or emotionally.

We work so hard to meet their needs and give them a good life.  But are we focused?  Are we remembering?  Do we know the weight of our task?

We are not raising our children for this world.

Our bodies are limited.  Our time here is limited.  We know not the hour, only that eternity will come. And…

Eternity is Forever.

We must care for their souls with as much (more!) gusto as we care for their bodily and earthly needs.  As Christian parents, we must prepare our children for eternity.  For forever.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

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Comments

  1. I am with you on this!! Congratulations on your baby’s Baptism!!

  2. Antoinette says:

    Amy, thank you for sharing your heart and your faith!!

    My MIL likes to ask “will _____ help make them a celestial (eternal) person??” How wise she is! Will playing first string lacrosse bring our teen eternal salvation? or would he be better served to spend at least half of that practice time serving/noticing the needs of others?

    I’ve thought a lot lately about this quote: “Make time for the quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud.” Am I teaching my children to hear God or just the world?

    I don’t think that we will need/use cars, iPods, iPads, iCarly :-), TiVo, etc. in eternity. But we will need hearts that can hear, wills that will bend, and a countenance that will mirror our Savior.

    • Your MIL is a smart lady. ;) I do hope my children enjoy fun activities that challenge them, and I hope they use their “team time” to be a Christian example to their friends. And yes, the world IS loud!

  3. What a priceless picture and sweet memory! You and I may practice our faith a bit differently – we have baby “dedications” rather than baptisms – but the focus and the goal is the same, I believe. We both are called to, and strive to, raise our children in a way that will lead them to their own personal relationship with Christ.

    Blessings to a precious baby and a sweet, sweet mama!

  4. Beautiful. Congratulations!

  5. Although we don’t believe the same thing when it comes to infant baptism (we do infant dedications, and they choose to baptize when they’re older themselves) I agree wih everything else you wrote about. I still learn so much on your blog that Ive come to realize that I don’t need to agree with everything to still have love for you, and this blog.

    • This might just be one of my favorite comments ever. :) And that’s something I’ve learned and grown in just in the 2 1/2 years I’ve been blogging. We don’t have to *agree* to respect each other and form friendships!

  6. That’s a great way of looking at the way a person chooses to raise their children, in all aspects. We dedicate our children as infants to the Lord but I always think it’s really an accountability thing, we as parents are pledging that we are going to teach our children and help to raise them to be accountable to the Lord and His standards. Baby dedication is such a responsibility…I often listen as others dedicate theirs and I hope they are sincere and know that it’s better to never make a vow to the Lord than to make one and then not hold up that vow. Just the enormity of our responsibilty to God is one of the many, many reasons we homeschool and choose to raise our children the way we do. (Baptism comes in after a child (or anyone) accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior and then follows the Lord in believer’s baptism—-I’m not sure what religion you practice but I assume from the way it sounded that you are dedicating your baby to the Lord during this ceremony. We are practicing Baptists but Christians first and foremost. :O) )

  7. Beautiful post and congrats on the baptism!

  8. Mary Gardner says:

    Very nicely written and so very true!!! Congratulations on the wonderful day!!

  9. I wish you could come over so I could show you pictures of my girls’ dedications! The look on your face is priceless, those are some of the best photos! My hubby said I looked like I wanted to not let go when our pastor went to pick up our first baby! ;) Anyway, my hubby and I have a saying, “Is this a heaven or hell issue?” When the worries of school, church and just life in general get in our way (which is going to happen sometimes;)), we often look at each other and repeat the above phrase. Is this something that’s going to affect our eternity? It really does put minor irritations and annoyances in their place and keeps our focus where it needs to be – on Jesus. :)

  10. Congratulations on your beautiful baby’s beautiful baptism… and thank you for your thoughtful words. We as parents cannot be reminded of that too much!

  11. I get goosebumps at baby baptisms/christenings/dedications. Every time I witness one, I get that sense of “flow”: being in the moment while realizing I’m participating in something much bigger and more enduring than myself.

    When our daughter was born, DH and I participated in our church’s annual dedication ceremony but also held a private christening to honor his English heritage. We sang old hymns and did readings from the Book of Common Prayer. It was awe-inspiring to take our place in a worship tradition that stretches back centuries.

  12. Congratulations on your baby’s baptism. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  13. i love your face in that picture. it’s such a sweet and precious moment- here on earth and up in the heavens – everyone rejoicing. i’m loving the word “eternity”…and it’s perspective with parenthood. thank you!

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