Recently we as a church family were introduced to a new Parent Dedication to be declared by parents who choose to ask the church for its help in raising godly children. We rejoiced with five of our families as they made this statement of faith to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Yes, their covenantal declaration was actually a statement of faith.
This covenantal statement is a declaration of faith in the triune God to save our children. It is a declaration of the conviction that our Father is a covenant-keeping God and that His covenant includes the salvation of our children (Acts 2:39; etc.). And since we believe that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), we are committed to believing His promises and therefore to behaving like we believe them. This is the essence of the Parental Statement of Faith.
Those who will raise a godly seed must believe that God is faithful to keep His Word; and, in turn, faith-filled (and therefore faithful) parents must obey God’s instructions if they will enjoy the outcome. His instruction is that parents both instruct and model before their children the ways of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4). This, in a nutshell, is the BBC Parental Covenant, Parental Statement of Faith.
In this article I simply want to introduce you to the contents of this covenant and then, in subsequent articles, focus on specific paragraphs and expound the biblical principles behind them. Though, of course, this document is not inspired, nevertheless we as an eldership are persuaded that it does represent the biblical ethos of BBC with reference to our conviction that parenting is not a coin toss.
Please read this parental statement of faith for your own instruction and edification as well as an aid to faithfully equipping BBC to raise this generation to impact the next generations for the good of our children and for the glory of God.
Parental Statement of Faith
We hereby acknowledge our responsibility before God, and before this community of faith, to intentionally raise __________ in a culture of Christ-centred commitment, believing that he/she will accompany us to heaven. Motivated by faith in God we endeavour to do the following.
We commit ourselves to believing God’s promises and to behaving like we believe them. We will seek to do so with special focus on His promises to save __________. We will therefore endeavour to live by faith believing that God is pleased to reward those who diligently seek Him. We believe that God is pleased to save __________.
We therefore pledge our allegiance, once again, to fight the good fight of faith as we seek to consistently live under the Lordship of Christ thereby commending Him to __________ as his/her Saviour. We commit ourselves, in the light of the Lordship of Christ, to the sacrifices necessary to give __________ a thoroughly Christ-centred worldview.
We commit ourselves to intentionally adorn the gospel by our lives, both in our successes and in our failures. We hereby commit ourselves to not only preach the gospel to __________ but to also preach it to ourselves when we sin. We commit to using our failures to further point __________ to the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We commit ourselves to both commanding __________ to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as well as commending saving faith in Him. We commit to doing so both by our lips and by our lives.
We understand that to raise _______ in the training and admonition of the Lord is a super-human task, and we therefore will seek to fulfil this biblical mandate in dependence upon the grace of God.
In acknowledging our dependence on God we hereby commit ourselves to utilising the various practical means of grace which He has provided. We will therefore seek wise counsel about raising a godly seed; we will be intentionally faithful to fulfilling our covenantal responsibilities as members of BBC; we will expose __________ to the numerous opportunities to learn of Jesus Christ through the ministries of BBC.
We willingly invite BBC to hold us accountable to this public covenant and we undertake to respond to admonitions with humility and with a willingness to learn.
We hereby commit that we will not shift the blame for any failures on our part but rather will assume the full responsibility for the spiritual outcome of __________. We will further endeavour to do all that we can to aid BBC in its biblical mandate to raise a godly seed for (at least!) a thousand generations.
In the light of the seriousness of this joyful task of raising __________ for God in Christ, we seek the aid of the Holy Spirit to guide us in His Word. We also ask BBC to stand with us and pledge to both walk and to work with us covenantally in the raising of a godly seed. We promise to heed the Word of the Lord from you and to seriously weigh your practical counsel in the light of Scripture.