We are coming up on our baby dedication service (Sunday, February 24th). At the conclusion of the service, each family comes to the front of the auditorium and we have a prayer of blessing and dedication for each child. Following the service there is a celebration meal and refreshments. I hope each of you are able to make it!
I want to share a few details behind why we have a baby dedication at Grace.
Why a baby dedication? One of my favorite prayers is from Hannah in the book of 1 Samuel. She had prayed for many years for a child and the Lord answered her prayer, giving her Samuel. Chapter 2 contains her prayer of praise for the Lord’s gracious provision! She also does something that is dramatic. She dedicates Samuel to the Lord’s service. What faith; what sacrifice!
But in reality, this should be all of our heart’s for our children. “Lord, this child is yours and you have allowed me to be his or her father or mother, but he or she is yours.” We usually pray this right when the child is born, but it is also great to have a public service commemorating this statement. And that is what a baby dedication is.
“‘For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.’ And he worshiped the LORD there.” (1 Samuel 1:27-28)
Of course, that doesn’t mean that your child will have to work in a Temple the rest of their lives = ) But it does mean that we want God’s best for that child no matter what that is. And we ask God to take him or her and use them for His glory. In whatever capacity He sees fit.
As you dedicate the child to the Lord, you commit to raising him or her in the Lord’s ways, striving, by God’s grace, to raise the child in the Christian faith.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 ESV).
How can I prepare? Well, no one can be perfectly prepared for parenthood. It’s a role that you grow into = ) But continue in prayer, continue in the faith, and the Lord will use you to grow the child not just physically, but spiritually. We would encourage you to attend our upcoming parenting seminar to gain some biblical principles of parenting.
Why a dedication at church? Really the church setting is a perfect place. Because, as you share your heart to raise your precious child in the ways of the Lord, our church family prays for you and commits to help you as much as possible. We dedicate ourselves as a church family to have your back and to encourage you in the ways of the Lord as your child follows you to Christlikeness.
What a baby dedication is not: I should add that a baby dedication does not make a child a Christian. The child chooses this pathway as he or she repents from sin and places their trust in Jesus as their personal Savior. But in the event, we sure will pray that the child will do just that!
We pray that the child will come to faith at a very early age and to grow in that faith. We also pray that the Lord will use him or her for many decades to come!