Raising Children of Faith: The Significance of Child Dedication

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Child dedication enables parents to declare their commitment and desire to raise children in the way of the Lord according to Scripture – to devote both their children and their parenting to God. The origins of child dedication, rooted in the Old and New Testaments (e.g. Exodus 13:2, 1 Samuel 1:11, Luke 2:22), were common Jewish practices. While not a command for Christians, it’s a way for parents to entrust their children to God’s care.

Have you dedicated your children to the Lord?

Here are twelve reasons why child dedication is important:

1. What you do as a parent leads to outcomes that impact your children throughout their adult lives.

2. Child dedication demonstrates intentionality to take an active part in the faith development of your children through their formative and teenage years.

3. If you don’t dedicate your children to the Lord, you’re dedicating them to the world by default. Children naturally tend to foolishness (Proverbs 22:15), which leads to death (Proverbs 14:12).

4. Dedicating a child to the Lord isn’t a ritual forcing a child to believe in God; it’s a door opened for fostering faith in your child.

5. When you dedicate your child to the Lord, you should do so with the understanding, hope and prayer that there will be a time in your child’s life when they will personally choose to commit their life to the Lord and follow Him.

6. Dedicating a child at an early age shapes their later life. The founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola, said, “Give me a child till he is seven years old, and I will show you the man.”

7. Handing your children over to the Lord encourages them to cultivate a relationship with Him. “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”

8. When you dedicate your children to God, you take responsibility for loving, teaching and disciplining them as God’s children entrusted to your care.

9. Dedication reminds you and your children that they belong to the Lord – that while you love them, so does God.

10. When children know they’ve been dedicated to the Lord, they’re more inclined to do what He wants them to do. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV).

11. While dedicating your children to the Lord doesn’t guarantee their spiritual health and growth, it does direct them to follow Jesus.

12. Children dedicated to the Lord can never be un-dedicated. No matter how hard a child may try to deny the Christian faith, God will pursue the child all of their life.

Child dedication requires a singleness of heart and action. Consider this verse: “Jesus Christ … gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” Titus 2:13-14. Note Paul’s words, “that are his very own.” Jesus wants parents and children who are exclusively His – parents and children He can be proud of. There are no half-measures with Jesus. He wants parents and children totally dedicated to Him!

Related Article

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© Scripture Union, 2024

2 Corinthians 4:5

 

Summary: If you’re wondering ‘should I dedicate my baby?’ Child dedication or baby dedication, allows parents to commit to raising children according to Scripture. Rooted in both Testaments, it’s a way to entrust children to God’s care. Learn twelve reasons why Christian parenting emphasizes dedication, fostering faith, and guiding children in their spiritual journey.

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