Why Dedicate a Child?
March 21, 2022
We have been having child dedication across our campuses this month. It is an important event in the life of a child, parent, and family. Our church is one that dedicates or blesses babies and children whose parents bring them for that purpose. Why do we do that? It’s not an adult type of baptism, which is a public profession of a believer that their faith in Christ has brought them from death to life. It’s not a ticket-to-heaven ceremony.
So what is it? It is a commitment to God in the presence of our church family to raise your child in the ways of the Lord. There is no command in the Bible saying we must make this a public commitment. But I believe there are several reasons that we are wise to do so.
When we dedicate our children, we recognize that our children are not our own but belong to the Lord. God created them. He has a plan for them. He is the One who is the ruler over their lives.
God has gifted us with being parents of our children, but we are not ultimately in control of their lives. They are children, not our possessions. We do not own them. We cannot create a relationship with Jesus for them. We cannot convince them to become believers because we can’t change their hearts.
We have a major and important responsibility to teach our children about God, but our children ultimately belong to Him. This is mutually humbling and comforting. Child dedication is a great reminder of that and can strengthen our purpose.
When we dedicate our children, we publicly commit that we will raise them up in the Lord.
God makes it clear that we are responsible and privileged to be our children’s primary disciplers.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 11:19 NKJV
Sometimes people think it is the church’s responsibility to do the teaching. But that’s not God’s plan. He even sent Jesus to be raised in a human home. He put your children in your specific home where they will spend the majority of their time for all their formative years. It is your role to teach about God with your words and through your daily example and life. Disciple-making is not burdensome, but natural, when we love Jesus with all our hearts and follow Him. It will be our delight to help them discover the same joy we know.
When we dedicate our children, we get to announce in front of family, friends, and the church family that we will teach our children about God. It is a time of introduction of the child to his or her family, the community of believers, who will be a vital part of growth, development, security, enjoyment, purpose…everything good.
And that leads me to the last reason I want to mention. When we dedicate our children to the Lord, we get to enlist our congregation/church family to support us, pray with us, and join us in the effort to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV