And so, attempting to understand this in our 'new-parent-shocked-exhausted' state, we decided there and then that we would bring our boy (and subsequent boys.... oh, how little we knew of what was to come) up to be a radical follower of Jesus, obeying him despite the cost. As a baby, instead of a christening, we dedicated him to God. For us, this meant saying thank you to God for him and then giving him back. Toby is on loan to us and as his parents we have been commissioned to train and disciple him. He's not ours to keep, he's ours to prepare.
In light of these thoughts, we made these promises at his dedication (and for Max and Jonah too), based on the words used in the Salvation Army. These are promises we did not make lightly, but much thought and soul-searching went into them.
“If you wish the Lord to take possession of the soul and body of this child, Toby, that he shall only and always do His will, you must be willing that he should spend all his life in the service of Christ wherever God may choose to send him; even if he should be despised, hated, cursed, beaten, kicked, imprisoned, or killed for Christ’s sake.