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.
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.