Saturday, September 10, 2011

Caring for Babes {In Christ}

During our date night, Daniel and I were deep in discussion about new converts -- babes in Christ. He mentioned how since becomming a Daddy, he'd realized how much love, effort, and time it takes to properly care for an infant and how we should apply the same rigor of newborn care to caring for new Christians. How true is that?! So, I started thinking ...

- Infants (especially newborns) need to be handled gently. Those floppy heads are enough to scare any new parent into being ultra careful! While I would never advocate for "sugar coating" of the Gospel, it is important to speak the truth in love (ie. carefully). I remember when Jenaleigh was first plopped onto my chest after she was born. I thought, "I don't want to break her! How do I hold her?!" We need to give an equal amount of care to every interaction we have with the babe in Christ; not holding back the truth, but being gentle, "as a nursing mother cherishes her own children" (1 Thessalonians 2:7).
"Carefully Handling my Newborn"

- Infants can't be left alone. I recently read a post on Babycenter.com about a grandmother wanting to leave a four month old alone in the parent's house (laying on the couch, nonetheless) while she walked a block to go pick up her other grandchild from school every afternoon. I was appalled! I would never leave my four month old alone in the house like that -- too many bad things can happen in just a matter of minutes! Similarlry, we can't leave our new converts alone. Do we baptize them Sunday night and say, "See you on Wednesday."? Do you realize that's quite a few days where they may have no contact with other Christians? In the early days of their Christianity, they need to be around Christian influences constantly! Too many bad things can happen when left alone to fend for themselves.

- Infants need to be comforted and cuddled when they're sick. Jenaleigh was having a major issue with constipation (TMI for some of you, I know!) today. I was doing many things to help her through it, but one of the greatest medicines I could provide, was cuddling and letting her know it would be okay. New Christians are going to meet speedbumps that cause them to question their newfound faith. We must be there to hold their hands, let them know what the Word says, put them back on track, and be a comfort!

- It may take awhile for your infant to be ready for solids, but some day they will be happily chowing down on table food. Some moms are so excited for their babies to start solids that the day their bambinos turn 4 months old, they're getting the rice cereal ready. Some babies happily except this new method of eating, while others may still have their tongue thrust reflex and push the cereal out of their mouths. If your baby rejects the rice cereal, do you throw your hands up in the air and say, "Oh well, I guess she'll just live on milk for the rest of her life!"? Um, NO! You just wait and offer it (or some other food) again when he/she is ready, right? If a New Christian doesn't quite "get" a "meaty" concept, don't think that the cause is lost and give up. Keep offering the meat, help them prepare themselves for solids, the meat that they will someday need to consume (Hebrews 5:12-14).

- Infants make messes and need to be cleaned up. In her short four months with us so far, Jenaleigh has probably taken more baths than I've had in a year! She makes quite the mess for a little bug and relies on her Mommy and Daddy to be there to help clean up the spit up or whatever else is expelled from her cute little body. Similarly, the new convert may wonder how to deal with a mess he or she made in their past. Paul wrote of the horrific things the Corinthian Christians had done in their pasts -- from being male prostitutes to drunkards -- but they were (with guidance and God's help, of course) able to overcome (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Let's help our new converts devise a game plan to make their past "wrongs" right and get their lives right!

3 comments:

  1. I don't know how I missed this when it first came out, but this is a great post!

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