What Is the Meaning of Child Dedication?
The act of dedicating children to the Lord was a common practice of blessing among the people of God in both Old and New Testament times. In addition, it was also a statement by the parents recognizing that their child really belonged to God.
Samuel’s mother dedicates her son to the Lord:
"Sir, do you remember me?" Hannah asked. "I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. 27 I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. 28 Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life." And they worshiped the Lord there. 1 Samuel 1:26-28
Jesus was dedicated to the Lord:
Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. 23 The law of the Lord says, "If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord." Luke 2:22-23
As Christians today, we dedicate children with the same purpose in mind.
As a Parent, What Is Expected of Me?
Dedication is a public expression of faith and commitment on the part of the parents and of blessing on the part of God through His Church. This act by the parents is a prayerful declaration of their stewardship over God’s gracious gift to them.
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, "Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it." Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16
Child dedication is more than a ritual. It’s a commitment on the part of parents to honor the will and the Word of God. As a part of this dedication parents are asked to:
- Recognize that your children belong to God and have been born to experience His love and to serve Him.
- Pray daily for God’s direction in your lives and in the lives of your children.
- Faithfully participate in worship with your children.
- Teach your children the truths of God’s Word in your home.
- Anticipate and seek to gently lead your children to personal faith in Christ.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
Should I Have My Child Baptized?
Baptism is an outward expression of a personal commitment to Christ by faith (see Baptism). At Abundant Life Community Church we wait to baptize our children until they are old enough to understand personal sin, the need for salvation and that baptism signifies dying to an old way of life and being raised to a new life in Christ. Generally, we expect that most youth by the age of 12 are capable of this kind of understanding. We urge parents with infants or young children to dedicate them to the Lord now and commit to disciple them toward personal faith in Christ and baptism.
What Will the Dedication Be Like?
Parents and relatives are invited to assemble and participate with you during your child’s dedication. The dedication will consist of the Pastor praying specifically for your child. Then other leaders will pray for the Lord’s blessing on you and ask the church to help nurture and disciple children toward faith in Christ.
Baby dedication is open to parents who can truthfully say, “I will commit myself to raising this child to know the Lord Jesus Christ by loving, discipling, training and setting a positive Christlike example.”
To sign-up for the next Child Dedication or to get more information, email Pastor Rocky Taylor (Rocky@abundantlifecommunitychurch.org or call the church at (440) 877-1202).