Mother’s Day | Baby Dedication 2013
It is an exciting thing to become a parent; the birth of a child is a time for joy and celebration, but there is also an overwhelming sense of responsibility and a feeling of inadequacy when you first hold in your arms this little life you will help shape. How will they turn out? Will I ruin their psyche? What if I make mistakes? Will they inherit my faith? All of a sudden life seems so much larger than us and we look to the bigger picture.
Many parents I meet, whether they consider themselves to be devoted Christians or not, find themselves concerned for their children when it comes to their eternal security. As a parent who is a follower of Jesus, it is one of my greatest dreams and desires to raise up my children to also be followers of Jesus. However, believing that it is solely the work of the Spirit in their lives that can bring them to salvation, I am obligated to God only to live my life in obedience to Him as a model for my children. I am thankful to have grown up with two parents who followed Christ and modeled Biblical obedience to me, and when I came to a point of repentance and personal faith in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, as a step of obedience to Christ, I was baptized as an outward profession of my inward faith, publicly confessing my desire to follow Jesus in all areas of my life. While it is my desire that each of my 5 boys will also follow the Biblical model of baptism in accordance with their repentance and faith in Jesus, it is not something I can choose for them.
We understand that all children are a gift from God and that we are to do our part in leading them to be lifelong followers of Jesus
with that in mind, what better way to show our appreciation to God for this precious gift and opportunity for service than to dedicate our children to Him as an expression of our faith in His redemptive plan for them. A great opportunity to publicly profess your intention to dedicate your child to the Lord is to participate in a baby dedication ceremony with your church family. The baby dedication ceremony is a good practice for several reasons:
- We recognize that children are a gift from God and we take time to publicly thank Him for the child He has given us. This is a great testimony of the value God puts on family and gives the proper perspective to a cultural misconception that children are a burden or a barrier to personal succes.
- It is an opportunity for parents to profess their intention to raise their child in a home that follows Jesus. This declaration is a covenant with God; in which parents commit to following Biblical principles and as Proverbs says, to “Train up a child in the way he should go.” A public declaration before fellow believers serves as a reminder to all, that you are to be held accountable for your example to this child.
- Parents acknowledge the sovereignty of God and their reliance on His work in their lives as well as the life of the child. One thing that is certain about parenthood is that there will be questions that mom and dad can’t answer; decisions that will be stressful and overwhelming, and while we can turn to friends and relatives for advice, ultimately it is God who grants grace and wisdom.
- We publicly express our desire for this child to come to a saving faith in Christ. While we know we can’t save our children, we can still petition God in prayer for their salvation, and ask Him to use us to be instrumental in this process.
- In participating in a ceremony before their church family, parents are also acknowledging that their family is a part of a larger family; the family of God. This is a reminder to all that we are all members of one body and therefore responsible to be an example of Christ to even the youngest members.