"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
September 11, 2011 was the day that Matt and I stepped forward at our church to dedicate Harper to the Lord. This simply means that we are making a commitment to raise our child in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. We will provide a loving home for her where she can learn about Jesus and what it means to be a Christian.
We were asked to share a characteristic that we hope she will someday possess as well as share a scripture verse that we picked specifically for our little girl. The first characteristic that popped into my mind was loving. This is perfectly fitting for Harper, especially with the nickname Harper Love. Harper's middle name is Lovejoy (my maiden name), but when shortened it comes out affectionately Harper Love. It suits her. She is a happy little girl that loves to be cuddled. Immediately a verse came to mind.
I Corinthians 13:4-7, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres".
If Harper grows up to be a loving person, she will be all of the things listed about. We do not want Harper to be loving because it is good and nice, but because it is what Jesus commanded of us. We believe in loving God and loving people. And hopefully through our love for others, they will notice our love for God and maybe even want to share in that same love.
In order for a child to be loving, she must first be raised in a way that she can experience love and learn by example. This is where our dedication comes in. We committed ourselves (in front of a houndred family and friends) to provide Harper with a lifetime full of love and to raise her in a biblical manner so that she may come to know Christ and learn how to share the love of Christ with others.
Your prayers and encouragement are greatly appreciated. Raising a child is the most important job I will ever have!