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Our Parent/Child Dedication Experience: Growing Together

Finding out that we were pregnant with number 3 was a complete shock. We had two kids, Emma (8) and Eli (7), and we had settled into a comfortable way of life being a family of four, in fact, we thought we couldn’t have anymore kids. Baby number 3 wasn't even on the radar. Even so, we were thrilled that God had produced another little miracle for our family; we welcomed Woods in January 2015.

We decided early on that dedicating our children, and ourselves as parents, to Christ in front of His church was important to us. So, we took part in dedication classes with both Emma and Eli. Each time, we found the classes provided insight and comfort leading up to the actual dedication service. It was exciting to be able to go through a similar process with Woods, feeling like maybe now we have somewhat of a clue as to what this child rearing thing looks like.

God has shown us so much more grace than we deserve. Therefore, we are now able to show more grace to our children as we try to lead them to a Christ centered life.

We have come to love and cherish Grace Kids, and especially the staff and volunteers that pour into our kid’s lives on a weekly basis. Our older kids have learned so much of the Bible and its amazing stories. They have experienced His Love just by showing up to their classes on Sunday mornings. Both Emma and Eli have truly hidden God’s Word in their hearts, and we are so thankful for the Grace Kids program, staff, and volunteers for supporting us as parents in our effort to teach our kids in the way that they should go. Grace’s parent/child first steps is just that, a first step to developing a dynamic and loving relationship between Church, Parent and child. Signing up for the First Steps class to dedicate Woods was a no brainer.

Our First Steps experience was a refreshing time to meet other couples and families we could relate to. We shared time with couples in all stages. Some with their first tiny little baby- soaking in so much and just trying to hang on- to couples with their 4th baby with some wisdom under their belt, but still clinging to God for direction. We were able to share stories, tradition, laughs and maybe even a tear or two. Most vividly, we enjoyed hearing from a couple who were ahead of us in their family life, having mature teenage girls getting set to graduate from high school and move on to college. They were able to share with us their experiences and insights. It was encouraging for us to see a Godly family further along in their real life journey, and to see how raising Godly kids can look. It was a refreshing and hopeful evening for both of us.

We’re honored that God has allowed us to parent our three kids, and we’ve discovered that the process has been equal parts joy, challenge, success, and failure. Admittedly, we’ve missed the mark a number of times, and will continue to do so as we face new or overwhelming challenges. Thankfully, GFC approaches the dedication service not as simply a child dedication, but a PARENT/Child dedication. Parenthood is a huge responsibility. First Steps allows us to stand in front of the Body, ask for their prayer, seek their accountability, and receive their help when needed - all under God’s blessing.

John and Bethany Teilhet

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