Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).
CHILDREN ARE A HERITAGE
WHY CHILDREN SHOULD BE DEDICATED
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 was weeping, 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, emphasis added).
God honored Hannah’s request and gave her a son named Samuel. Hannah kept her vow and dedicated (which means “to set apart”) Samuel to the Lord.
REQUIREMENTS FOR DEDICATION
Parents who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will be unable to submit their children to God’s will and His ways, because they themselves do not know the ways of the Lord. As a result, we must decline any requests to involve an unbelieving parent in the dedication of a child. We view this as an act of protection rather than rejection, as we cannot encourage someone to make a vow to God that we know he or she cannot keep. The Bible says, “It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows” (Proverbs 20:25 NIV). The Bible records instances where 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. Single parents who dedicate their children may not have boyfriends or girlfriends with them on the platform.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A CHRISTIAN PARENT
The responsibilities God has entrusted to Christian parents include continuously praying for their children (Job 1:5), instructing them in the way of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6), setting a godly example (Proverbs 20:7), and disciplining them as the Lord would discipline us (Proverbs 29:15, 17; 13:24). These responsibilities can only be fulfilled in Christ’s strength (Philippians 4:13).
As a parent, your devotion to God, or lack of it, will make a resounding impression on the next generation. May your legacy be a godly one.