Proverbs 22:6- "Train up a child in the way he should go, so when he is old he will not depart from it."
A couple Sundays ago was Baby/Child dedication at our church. Since this is our first church home since Jacob was born, we knew we wanted to participate. What is a baby dedication, really? A confirmation of our love for God, clarification that our child already belongs to God, commitment to raise our child under the leadership of Jesus Christ and claiming God's best plan and promises for our child. It is agreeing to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). It is not just a simple ceremony but a life long commitment to raise our child God's way.
We are so thankful to God for our children and want to raise them in a way that is honoring to Him. We're not perfect, by any means, but we want to give our kids the best. The best doesn't mean more stuff, it means teaching them God's plan. It means being the best parents we can be to be an example of God's love and teaching. We're learning so much on this journey!
In the bulletin on that Sunday was something funny, and yet so accurate, that I want to share. Apparently many years ago, the Houston Police Department ran an ad campaign in attempt to reduce juvenile crime. Here's what they came up with:
Twelve Rules for Raising Juvenile Delinquent Children
1. Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way, he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.
2. When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think that it's cute.
3. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he's 21 and let him "decide for himself."
4. Avoid the use of the word "wrong." It may develop a guilt complex. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him, and that he's being persecuted.
5. Pick up everything he leaves lying around. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.
6. Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and dishes are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage.
7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. This way they won't be shocked when the home is broken up later.
8. Give a child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his own.
9. Satisfy every craving for food, drink and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified.
10. Take his part against the neighbors, teachers and policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.
11. When he gets into real trouble, apologize for yourself by saying "I never coud do anything with him."
12. Prepare for a life of grief. You will likely have it.