My wife gave birth to our third child this morning. Apparently it’s a big deal.
Now, I love this kid. He’s awesome. He’s a blessing given by God, and it’s a blast to see him lying right over there while I’m typing this in the hospital. He’s my third, though, so I’m familiar with all this. Yes, still a blessing. Yes, I need to remember how small and fragile these kids are when they’re born. But I’ve been this route a few times before.
I expect close friends and family to be happy with us. It’s no surprise that grandmas and grandpas and close family are celebrating. We’ve done this before. Again, I know what to expect.
This is the first time we’ve had a child while I was a pastor, though. And… well, the excitement of the congregation is a little overwhelming. So many congratulations and wondering when we can visits and offering to helps and so on and so on… and it’s hard for me to figure out what I “should” say yes to and what being a good husband and father necessitates me saying “no.” We’ve had such an outpouring of generosity — for instance, people have fought to take care of our other children while we’re in the hospital. It’s a bit of a balancing act to not offend anyone!
We have the baptism set for about two weeks from now. I was really skittish with this; I know so many people that delay months and months for baptism so that “everyone can be there.” They forget that baptism is for the baby, not for the family. Baptism is important and there’s so many blessings — why would we delay it?
But it’s also a matter of trust. I don’t have to rush to baptize the second the baby is born. I trust that God will preserve my new son until baptism. There’s no indication of any health problems. I trust to the providence of God until we bring this new child to the waters of baptism.
So now… it’s a matter of good example. Should I baptize the first Sunday the child is there, or stay with our plan? Does it give a bad example to the congregation? Am I teaching something I don’t want taught? Am I despising God’s grace by delaying a week?
I’m wrestling with these things. I’ve come to the preliminary conclusion that I’m still well within good practice, though I may want to explain my reasoning for waiting.