Dedicating a child to the Lord doesn’t secure their salvation; we believe children are already under God’s saving grace up to an age of accountability, which is known to God in each case. Rather, Child Dedication is an opportunity for the parents to:
- Gratefully recognize and affirm that their child ultimately comes from and belongs to God, and is a gift entrusted to their care for just a time (Psalm 127:3, Proverb 22:6)
- Surrender their child to God’s will for his or her life above the parent’s own plans (1 Samuel 1:27-28)
- Dedicate themselves as parents to model godliness and raise their child in accordance with God’s instructions found in His Word (Psalm 78:4-7 and Ephesians 6:1-4)
Requirements for Participation
While God’s ideal intention for child-rearing is a two-parent home, involving a father and mother, He works redemptively and effectively in all types of family situations, as we place our faith in Him and seek to live according to His ways. An authentic dedication to raise children by modeling and instructing them in Christian faith and life requires certain guidelines for those who would participate in the dedication ceremony. In general, those dedicating a child should be living a Christian life and have significant (if not primary) responsibility for raising the child, along with the following:
- If both father and mother are participating in the service, they need to be married and living together
- Single parents need to have at least partial custody of and/or regular legally sanctioned involvement in the child’s life
- An unwed mother or father needs to talk with a pastor beforehand to discuss their situation
- Grandparents or relatives raising a child need to have legal custody or guardianship
- We ask parents who are living together and who are not married to take steps to acknowledge and surrender to God’s plan for their relationship before participating in a child dedication service
If you have questions about any of these guidelines or other possible situations, please contact Sheri Voigt. Scriptures Referenced (NIV) Psalm 127:3
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
1 Samuel 1:27-28
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.
We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”-which is the first commandment with a promise—“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Posted in: Child Dedications