Like most parents I suppose, the birth of our first child was simultaneously the most exciting and most terrifying thing that had ever happened to my wife and I. We spent nine months planning, praying, and preparing for him to arrive. We read books and talked to other parents to find out "what to expect" but we could really get a clear answer. We have always desired to raise our children in a home centered on Christ, but we weren't really sure what that looked like.We knew a baby dedication service was a good place to start, but like most things with kids, we didn't know what to expect. I remember talking with my wife about the class we required to take before the service. We pondered what the content would be. We guessed maybe a list of requirements for parents at Sojourn. Perhaps they'd teach us how to have family devotions? Maybe they'll give us a theology lesson on why we don't do infant baptism?
While we certainly should have seen it coming, one thing we didn't consider the class might be designed for was encouraging us in the gospel. We sat for an hour and a half and listened to how the gospel sets us free as parents, how the Lord is in control of our child and how we didn't need to have family devotions figured out. We were given tools to parent with, but reminded that they were just tools and not a rulebook.
The dedication service continued the theme of encouragement. I can't tell you how assuring it is for a scared dad to stand before his church and hear them promise to have my back. Taylor and I were so grateful for the prayers offered over us and the love shown during that time.
We left the dedication service still having no clue what we were doing as parents. But we also left with the confidence that the gospel had set us free from the burden of knowing it all and that our church family had our back every step of the way. —Stuart and Taylor Owens, Sojourn parents