As he called our entire family to the front, including the grandparents, he began to tell us why we do what we do when we choose to take a special time to dedicate our children to the Lord. He gave us two biblical accounts of similar stories. The first story was when Hannah, who had desperately wanted a child for some time, took Samuel to the temple to dedicate him to the Lord just as she had promised. The second was when Joseph and Mary took baby Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.
He gave a challenge from God's Word to our immediate family beginning with us and then to the children. Maleah will not only learn from her parents, but the siblings have such an influential role as well. It seems as if Madison is thinking this part over as he speaks!
Next, from Proverbs 17:6, he challenged the grandparents (Papa and Granna) to make a commitment to help us in our training in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He also asked them to commit to see that Maleah received this Biblical training in case anything ever happened to us. They agreed. They are great in honoring our leadership as parents in our children's lives. They really try to adhere to our desires whether they be physical or spiritual. That is such a great help for us. We are blessed with these two!
Thirdly, he asked that the entire church stand and commit to be one more reinforcement in Maleah's life. Prayerfully as God uses the mom and dad, the siblings, the grandparents, and the body of Christ to teach, train, discipline, love, and guide little Maleah during her lifetime, she will hear and see the gospel of the Lord Jesus lived out on a daily basis and one day trust Him as Lord and Savior.
As we came to a close, Dr. Harris asked Keith to take Maleah to symbolize him being the spiritual leader of the home. He then asked Nichole to come along side of Keith to symbolize the support that is needed for a healthy marriage so that Maleah would feel security and freedom to follow Christ with all of her heart. We had a sweet moment of prayer as we dedicated Maleah's upbringing to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Pray for us as we try to train and raise a family that is a blessing to the Kingdom!
Keith and Nichole