A few weeks ago, our friends dedicated their adorable two-year-old son (name omitted for his privacy) to the Lord. They wrote him this letter, which they read to him in front of the church. It floored me. It was so sweet and personal and profound. They have graciously allowed me to share it with you.
I love the way their letter highlights the goodness of God, their son's personality and the individualized instruction they desire to give him in the Lord. It is precious to me that they want to be careful not to fit him into a predetermined mold or even create a carbon copy of themselves, but rather grow someone who's faith is vibrant in the Lord in the context of the person God made him to be. I believe this captures much of what Proverbs 22:6 is talking about, and in a very beautiful way:
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
I hope you enjoy the letter as I have. I know I will be praying many parts of it for Gavin...in the context of who God has created him to be.
(For a bit of background: in our church, we treat dedication as more of a commitment on the part of the parents and church family to love and guide the child in the way of the Lord, rather than as a guarantee of the child's right-standing with God. We believe when the child is older, they still must choose for themselves whether to follow the Lord.)
Oh, and notice the love tags in the first line. Love them!
You are our silly goose, our cuddly bear, our wild monkey, our little rascal, and we love you more than we could have ever imagined. You are a perfect gift to us. You bring us happiness. We are blessed everyday by your enormous smiles and sweet giggles. Your joyful personality attracts everybody. We are encouraged and in awe of your carefree spirit. You make us laugh all the time! We love watching you enjoy life, from jumping at the playgrounds, splashing in the pool, kicking soccer balls, sharing a spoon at the yogurt shop, popping water balloons in your face, to letting the world know whenever you spot a bulldozer. The list could go on, but life though your eyes is pure joy.
From the day you were born, we’ve felt enormous commitment and responsibility to make your world safe, beautiful, and happy.
Spending time with you clears our mind to see past the stress and worries in our life.
God knew just right person for us.
Now that you’re two, our focus as parents shifts from just meeting your basic needs to being intentional about how we raise you. We’re committed to creating an environment free of fear, where you can make mistakes and try new things and find out how to be fully you.
We want to teach you that everyone is valued and loved and we treat everyone with kindness and respect. We’re committed to having fun together as a family.
We’re committed to giving you opportunities to find your passions and to teach you about the love of Jesus. Every step of this life seems impossible without trusting that God is in control of your life.
Your family and community of friends will have a lasting impact on your life. Our family will always love and support you (even though some live far away), and you are also blessed to have a strong family-like community nearby. We will continue to surround you with those who model Jesus’ love. Our hope is that our family and our community of friends will be a safe place for you. We will be your mentors. We will support and guide you, and live as examples for you.
And lastly, we dream that you will know joy and happiness. That you will want to help others and join in God’s work to make this world a better place. We dream that you will discover and say “yes” to the person that God has made you to be. We dream that our family will continue to grow together and that you will always feel the same closeness and tangible love that you experience now.
Daddy and Mommy