One thing I love about child dedication is that it’s a celebration of how unique the parent-child relationship is. You won’t find me saying, “I hope Elisabeth eats her Brussels sprouts today because then she’ll get to be my daughter.” No way! She’s our daughter because God gave her to us. She was born into our family. She doesn’t have to earn her status as my daughter, and I don’t have to earn my status as her dad.
What that means is that when I make commitments to my girls–even when I struggle to keep certain obligations that I have toward them–even when I struggle to love them well–I’m not struggling to earn anything. I struggle just because I love them, and I want to be faithful to the gifts God has given. In our performance driven culture, the uniqueness of the parent-child relationship stands out.
The Father designed it that way to be a picture of his relationship to us. We don’t have to earn our status in his family. We’re born into it. We receive it as a gift of grace. So, I can keep my obligations to my own kids, because I have a Father in heaven who is keeping me.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Ephesians 3:14-15)