Jacob, baptized, has been marked by God as His own. He is in covenant with Almighty God and owes Him love and obedience. He doesn’t know this yet, but we do, and we know, at least in part, what that looks like. I’ve been thinking about what it looks like to shepherd a covenant child at this early, early age. Later we can teach him to pray, teach him to confess his sin and hate and forsake it, teach him the joy of walking faithfully. As much for my sake as a learning parent as for his, I often pray with Jacob at moments of the day. We’ve always prayed for him at bed time and I’ve begun praying with him, sometimes as if from his perspective, in the morning when he wakes and at lunch when he eats. This discipline that we want for our kids may as well become habit before forgetting can be noticed by them. But I don’t do it just to make it a habit. I think right now we are in the immensely privileged position of acting on his behalf, not that it will magically gain him credit (Christians don’t deal in credit anyway except Christ’s credit to us.), but because we promised to shepherd him in The Faith as well as in matters of physical need: We clothe him and feed him on his behalf. This is especially vivid to me at moments where he is having an all-out tantrum. His anger and rebellion is clear and powerful in those moments and in place of teaching him to cry out to a holy God for mercy on a sinner, I make the plea myself. Forgive this son of mine and send him Your Spirit.