SOLOMON R. JOHN | AIM Nov. 2004
At every home there are children, and they are a gift o parents, given by God. Therefore, every Christian parents dedicate their new born child to God either by infant baptism or by conducting a special service. But, how deep is that commitment made by parents to God? And also, how does the church playa supportive role in assisting the parents to raise their children? These are some of the questions both parents and the church authorities should address.
However, dedicating the baby on a Sunday service is only an act of accepting the baby into the fellowship of God's people. It is also a time where parents vow to God, saying that they would raise their children fully in the knowledge and fear of God. Some parents keep their vows and practice them, while others don't as it is in the case of Jonathan's parents.
When Jonathan was born, he was about 250 pounds, but he had meningocoele (extra growth filled with fluid) on his neck. Doctors advice his parents that the extra growth need to be operated and removed, which would cost them enormous amount of money. But they were reluctant and found it difficult to accept the hard evidence before them. However, Jonathan's survival remained suspense. Seeing the hope less condition of Jonathan; their friends and relatives felt that there is no other option; sincerely advised the parents to dedicate the son for God's ministry.
Without any hesitation Jonathan's parents heeded to their suggestion, and dedicated their son to God on a Easter Sunday service. To their surprise, Jonathan survived the operation and grew up to be a healthy and intelligent boy. Later, as a student in the Bible College. God called him to be His servant in a rural village. Knowing his dedication, he expected his parents to rejoice about his God's call. Instead, he was flabbergasted at their reaction: "Nol, son, you can't do this to us.
Allowing your child to answer God’s call will hurt you. Are you willing?
We have a better plan for you." "But ..." Jonathan paused for a moment and reasoned, thoughtfully, he asked his parents, "didn't you dedicate me for God's ministry when I was born?" "Y-e-s," they replied, "But we took you again to the pastor, donated some money for the church, and took you back.” "Enough! Mom and dad," said Jonathan!
God's plan for your children often goes contrary to your plans and wishes. Allowing your child to answer God's call will hurt you. Are you willing? Blessed be those parents who say, "Lord, it is not our pleasure or our security or our name which is important. We believe that our child's security and blessing is in the centrality of God's will. And so we as parents unconditionally give back to you everything we possess, including our children. Amen!"
In contrast to the Jonathan's real life story, Mr. & Mrs. Devadas had two brilliant kids, Sandeep and Sweta. Both were industrious in their studies and passed out of school with flying colours and later became medical doctors. Both desired to serve God in a remote place in India. Their parent's positively responded to their children's desire, and prayed sincerely to God as a family. Today, these youngsters are faithfully serving God bringing many into God's Kingdom. The Devadas' family have no regrets.