“Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, ‘Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me, but Him who sent Me.'” – Mark 9:36–37
Children are the ministers of the future
We realize the future will one day be in our children’s hands. We strive to encourage and equip the children to walk with God, both now and throughout adulthood.
Children are a heritage
The Bible says children are a heritage and reward from the Lord (see Psalm 127:3). God has given Christian parents the tremendous responsibility of raising their children in the ways of the Lord (see Ephesians 6:4). Parents are entrusted with establishing a foundation built upon Jesus Christ early in the lives of their children.
Why children should be dedicated
Baby dedications are family dedications. We lift the entire family up in prayer, empowering them to uphold their responsibilities. The Bible gives us an example of dedicating a child to the Lord through the account of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:11, 26–28. Unable to have children, Hannah wept before the Lord because of her condition. As she wept, she made a vow to God and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life…” (1 Samuel 1:11). God honored Hannah’s request and gave her a son, Samuel. Hannah kept her vow and dedicated or set apart, Samuel to the Lord.
Dedicating a child to the Lord is vowing to submit them completely to the will of God and raise them in the ways of the Lord. Parents who have not placed their faith in Jesus as Savior are unable to submit their children to God’s will and ways because they themselves do not know the ways of the Lord. That said, we must decline requests to involve an unbelieving parent in the dedication of a child. We see this as a protection rather than rejection. We cannot encourage someone to make a vow to God they cannot keep. The Bible says, “It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vow” (Proverbs 20:25 NIV). God dealt severely with those who broke their vows to Him (for example, read Acts 5:1–11). A believing parent may dedicate a child independently of an unbelieving spouse.
Responsibilities of a Christian parent
Christian parents are to do all they can to “set apart” their child to God until that child can make his or her own choice regarding a relationship with Jesus Christ. By dedicating a child to the Lord, parents vow to raise their child in God’s ways and not their own. They commit to this promise and must do all they can to keep it. The responsibilities God has entrusted to Christian parents include continuously praying for their children (see Job 1:5). Instructing them in the way of the Lord (see Proverbs 22:6). Setting a godly example (see Proverbs 20:7), and disciplining them as Scripture commands (see Proverbs 29:15, 17; 13:24). These responsibilities can only be fulfilled in Christ’s strength (see Philippians 4:13).