Teachable Moments

Caring for Newborns in Light of the Trinity

I have a list of blogs about Parenting Newborns I can not stand to read.  Now, I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus, so, suffice it to say, I won’t give you their authors, but I will give you a paraphrase of their titles:

  1. EVERYTHING you need to know as a first-time parent to feel successful and make it look easy
  2. The thrills and fun of learning how to breastfeed your first child
  3. How to thrive on no sleep and no time alone as you care for your infant
  4. How to look your best as a Mommy of a Newborn

And last, but not least….

     5. First Time Parent?  We can tell you everything you need to know in Just One List

What are these bloggers thinking?  They can’t possibly follow through on what they claim to provide, especially as the reader is a first time parent or parent of a newborn.  When I remember my first days as a first-time Mom more than 20 years ago, while it is always a pleasure to take a trip down memory lane, I do not remember any of my moments even closely resembling the above blogs.  Nope – not one!

Newborns are tough and parenting them is not a job for wimps!  While “how to” ideas can be mildly useful for parents, what is more helpful is remembering who we are in light of our God.  We mustn’t forget that our God-knowledge (theology) should still be front and center even if we can hardly think coherently due to the whole “no sleep and no time alone” thing.  Aside from learning to diaper a tiny baby, brushing up on our theology is infinitely the most-important thing we can do.  Really?  Yes, really!  But what theological thought should I ponder (considering there are thousands to choose from)?  The Trinity.

The Trinity is defined as “one God in 3-persons”; we have one God in which there are 3 persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are each fully God and yet completely distinct.  Within the Trinity, we see how these three persons relate with one another and thus, have a template for how we are to be in relationship with one another. Being made in His image and likeness means we have the potential of reflecting the very essence of God in our relationships.  Since God is Trinity, we know as we begin the journey of parenthood that we can show our children from Day One who God is.

There are several ways we could describe God’s relationship within Himself, but one of His attributes which allow parents to know how to be in relationship with their newborns is that of God always being present.

  • Just as God is always present, we need to be present. God is always there for His children; we see this not only in the OT, but Jesus promised that when He left this world, the Holy Spirit would come to be with us (John 14:15-31).  As parents of newborns, we are to have that same quality of presence with our children. Just like us – who are God’s children and know that we are never alone, never without support, never without security – we want our children to know that when they need us, we will unquestionably be there.  We are the anchor of their world that reassures them that they are not alone and there is someone who will always be there with them in the good times and bad times. John 14:15-31 has Jesus explaining how the Father, Holy Spirit, and Himself are present with us as His people. He is not a neglectful or “hands off” God – NO, He is always there, always present.  Even when we do not deserve it, our God never forsakes us. This quality of being “present” is key between a newborn child and parent as it is the foundation of the child’s security and the attachment that needs to grow between baby and parent.

Dear Reader, we can depend on our God who is reliable to be there for us whenever we need Him.  He is present with us at all times, day or night.  As our Triune God reveals Himself as a  God who is always present, we take that same love and care and pass it on to our children.  May we not be so busy or overwhelmed in the everyday care of newborns, that we forget our God and what we are ultimately doing: discipling our children from day one when they are first born.  May God find us faithful to reflect who He is in our parenting so our children will grow to know and love our amazing, Triune God.

Blessings to you always, fondly yours, Elizabeth

BONUS:  The hymn, In The Garden, written in 1912 by C. Austin Miles, was written about Mary seeing Jesus outside the empty Tomb (John 20).  In the moment of weary weeping, Mary heard the voice and saw the face of her Teacher-Savior. What a joy we have knowing that same joyous moment of reunion that Mary experienced is ours daily as we too know the presence of God and that like Mary, “He walks with me; He talks with me and He calls me His own.”  

In the Garden

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses…

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other, has ever, known!

He speaks and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that he gave to me,
Within my heart is ringing . . .

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other, has ever, known!

And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other, has ever, known!

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