I couldn’t tell you how many people told my wife and I that things would be different once we had a baby. I reassured them that we were prepared. My wife is one of seven and had been taking care of kids her entire life. I was raised around kids and while all the other guys I went to high school with had part time jobs at Domino’s, I spent a few evenings a week playing Thomas the Tank Engine with a 3 year old while his mom went to the grocery store and the laundromat because her husband was in Iraq and she needed and evening to do errands. I even had the songs memorized. I was good. We were prepared. We had our gameplan. We knew what we were doing. However, I didn’t realize how right those people were… but not for the reasons you’re thinking.
You see, from the very beginning of our relationship, my wife and I began to call into question many of the secondary doctrinal issues we had been taught growing up. (I’ve written about this previously and you can read that here.) Apart from the fundamental, primary, essential, closed-handed, issues (like Jesus is God, the Bible is God’s Word, Jesus died in our place, Christianity 101 stuff), we called everything else into question and went back and looked at what our position was. Settling ourselves on Reformed theology was like eating an elephant. It happened one bite at a time. Afterwards, we took a breath, sat back, and relaxed. There were so many things we had worked through in that process and we thought for sure that there wouldn’t be any other secondary issues that needed to be dealt with any time soon.
Complimentarianism vs Egalitarianism? Done
Single vs. Plural Eldership? Done
Cessationism vs. Continuationism? Later
Pre-Mil vs. Post-Mil vs. A-Mil? Later
Interpretation of Revelation? Later
Paedo vs. Credo Baptism? Later
It was so convenient to write later next to those last 4 because, shoot, we didn’t have to settle that stuff over night. We had just made these huge strides and differed from the traditions of our parents in fairly significant ways. We were young, married, childless 20-somethings with all the time in the world to figure that other stuff out.
What I find the most interesting, though, is how little that last issue mattered to us at the time. I had been baptized. My wife had been baptized. We were good. If some people wanna baptize babies, cool. If some people wanna baptize adults, no problem. If some people wanna sprinkle, sweet. If some people wanna pour, awesome. If some people wanna dunk, great. We were baptismal agnostics and very much okay with that position.
Until we found out we were pregnant.
All of a sudden, the decision we had been putting off (because having kids was step #157 in our 5-Year-Plan) had become priority #1. We absorbed as much information as we could in a 9 month period. We read blogs, we listened to debates, we listened to both sides explain their position. Majority of our conversations were:
“Did you read that article I sent you?”
“No, I was throwing up all morning.”
“Okay…well… you need to read it.”
During this time, we were attending a Reformed Baptist church and were very happy there. Loving God, loving people, and loving His Church. Joining that church was an easy transition for us as we settled into Reformed theology. The denomination we were raised in was credobaptistic and so shifting to a Baptist church was no sweat at all.
However, after 9 months of researching until our heads hurt, we finally came to the determination that we were paedobaptists and wanted to have our daughter baptized. I remember discussing the decision and it’s implications on a 3 hour drive from Huntington to Morgantown in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve with our 1 1/2 month old sound asleep in the back seat. Not long after, we met with our pastor and his wife, who were both incredibly gracious and loving during our time of transition and are still great friends today. Though it pained us, we said goodbye to them and that church family.
Over the next month, God was incredibly faithful and we found a wonderful church family. We have become members and are both proud to announce that our daughter will be baptized this Sunday, April 14th, 2014. Palm Sunday no less.
As we celebrate Palm Sunday by singing to, for, and about King Jesus who came to save us, we will simultaneously celebrate the sign of the covenant of God’s people given to my daughter.
People told us life would be different when we had a baby. I can safely say I did not expect this.