Dedicating children to the Lord is a part of God's pattern for raising a child in a Godly manner. Dedication is the act of setting apart and committing a child into the hands of Christ for the purpose of letting the Lord direct his/her spiritual growth and development. It's demonstrated in both the Old and New Testaments.
Abraham dedicated Isaac to the Lord by being willing to sacrifice him (Genesis 22). Hannah dedicated Samuel by giving him back to the Lord (I Samuel 1:21-28).
Jesus was dedicated according to the law of Moses (Luke 2:22-40).
Dedicating a child is a declaration of faith and obedience to the Lord. Abraham showed his faith by being willing to offer Isaac (Hebrews 11:17). His obedience meant death to self and all his plans for Isaac. By completely relinquishing his son to God, he received him back. God accepts the child dedicated to Him and promises to bless him/her and keep the child in a protected place. “All your sons will be taught by the Lord; and great will be your children's peace” (Isaiah 54:13).
What does this experience do for the child?
The child that is dedicated to God is consecrated or “set apart” to a special place of blessing and care. Jesus shows this special place when He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14) and “Don't look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father." (Matthew 18:10).
For the parents?
Parents, in dedicating their children, acknowledge that he/she belongs to the Lord. They are in essence dedicating themselves to God and His plans for the child. Thus parents are given peace and confidence in knowing that their dedicated child is under God's constant care and guidance.
What is the parents’ responsibility?
A child can only be “set apart” to God through faith and obedience to God's Word; therefore, it is imperative that the parent(s) demonstrate personal faith in Jesus Christ themselves. The Bible promises that children who have believing parent(s) are consecrated to God through their parent's faith. (1 Corinthians 7:14) Children who are presented to God in dedication are made holy by the faith of their parents until they reach the age of accountability, at which time they need to personally acknowledge their faith in Jesus and be baptized.
After the act of child dedication, the parents are responsible before God for:
Modeling a life as Christians both in words and example.
Teaching them to love God and all people.
Praying regularly for them.
Healthy discipline and nurturing.
As parents, you have been granted the privilege and responsibility to care for and nurture him/her in the faith. You are to model the life of Christ and demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your lives that he/she might taste and see that the Lord is good. You are to pray for him/her, teach him/her from God's Word, and bring him/her faithfully to the gatherings of God's people. As he/she grows in years, you are to encourage and nurture his/ her own person faith in Jesus, and at that time when he/she makes a personal confession of faith, bring him/her to the waters of baptism. You are to place in his/her hands the Bible and provide instruction in the Christian faith so that your child may live a life worthy of his/her high calling and fulfill God's purpose for his/her life. As the father and mother of is this the purpose of your heart and do you promise to fulfill these responsibilities?
After reading this, hopefully you understand the requirements and responsibilities of child dedication. If you desire to dedicate your child/children, please contact one of our pastors. They will help you make arrangements for your child’s dedication!
Have more questions? Visit BCC, engage in worship and conversation with us!