Baby dedication at our church is just as much a commitment ceremony for the parents as it is a dedication ceremony for the baby.
Of course, we are following the example of Hannah in the book of 1 Samuel and presenting our children before the Lord (dedicating them to Him). This is an acknowledgment that our children ultimately belong to God, not us, and their lives are His to direct and use as He sovereignly wills.
But baby dedication is also an acknowledgement that, as parents, God has made us the primary stewards of His children. At our baby dedication service, we are committing before the body of Christ to raise our children up in the way of the Lord with the hope that they will one day respond to the voice of Jesus in repentance and faith.
We realize that, regardless of the way we raise our children, the Spirit of Christ alone can regenerate hardened, sinful hearts. However, our job is to be faithful to the commands of Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
Here, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. -Deuteronomy 6:4-9
As Christian parents, we are commanded to do more than just take our children to church to learn about Jesus. We are commanded to be our children’s primary spiritual influencers. We are to make Christ central in our hearts and in our homes. Conversation with our children about the Lord and His precepts should naturally flow from our lips as we sit, walk, lie, and go about our day-to-day tasks and routines. We are to teach our children that, above all else, they should seek to love the the Lord with all their heart, soul, and strength. There is nothing more important in this life.
I am so thankful that I had parents who took the commands of Deuteronomy 6 very seriously. I am thankful that the Lord was a part of every decision and so many conversations in our home. My parents constantly emphasized (and still do) that nothing was more important than knowing and loving Christ. I am thankful for the heritage of faith that was passed down to both Adam and me and now (prayerfully) to Luke.
Lord, make us faithful in our parenting. May Luke see Jesus in all we say and do.