THREE THINGS WE EMPHASIZE FOR BABY DEDICATIONS
In the coming weeks our church family will have the joy of practicing what is commonly referred to as ‘baby dedications.’ This is a special time for our church and the families that constitute our membership as we celebrate together the new life God has brought into the world and placed in our care. The Bible teaches that God forms us in our mother’s womb and that we were intricately designed by Him (Psalm 139:13-14). What a reason to rejoice! In a culture of death and one that increasingly grows hostile to the most innocent of humans and the family unit, we as Christians must not only celebrate our baby’s, but know why and for what reason we celebrate. Allow me to refresh our minds as to what we intend to accomplish through our public dedications of these precious children:
1. WE DEDICATE CHILDREN TO THE LORD
As we celebrate these children, we do so acknowledging that God has placed them in our care to act as stewards of God’s precious gift. Since every child is made in the image of God (Genesis 3), we not only view these children as valuable, but as God’s. And this is important. We must keep in mind that though our children are biologically from us, they are spiritually and eternally in the hands of God for better or worse. We dedicate the children understanding that it doesn’t ensure salvation or promise they will respond to the gospel upon first hearing it. We dedicate them to the Lord because we desire His grace to shine in their lives and that they would experience the hope of heaven as they individually believe on Christ as Lord and Savior. We celebrate their physical births in hopes that one day there will be a spiritual birth (John 3) that would be far more reason to celebrate.
2. WE COMMISSION OUR PARENTS TO THEIR CHILDREN
As mentioned, children are an inheritance from the Lord and parents act as God’s stewards of the babies born into their families. The Bible calls parents to act as shepherds of and missionaries to their children (Proverbs 22:6). The ultimate goal of parenting is not to raise moral, successful, intellectual, athletic, and popular people in their image – but to strive to utilize every life situation to point their children to the Lord and find life in walking in His image. While hoping to see our children be good, moral, and successful is not in itself bad, it is not the goal of parenting. Every parent must live by the heartbeat that longs to see their children saved and live in the blessedness of walking with the Lord. And while we as a church may help and assist in this matter, it is ultimately the parent’s role to disciple their children and expose them to the glories of God’s love for them.
3. WE COMMIT OUR CHURCH TO THE FAMILY
While the raising up of children in the admonition of the Lord may be primarily delegated to the family unit, the faith family of God serves as a spiritual family who comes alongside of dads and moms to assist in discipleship endeavors for all children. Here at our church, we seek to utilize a variety of programs and times specifically geared toward cultivating a heart for God in our children. The family unit has always been God’s plan A throughout human history as a means to fill the earth. For this reason, Christians must be profamily in both word and deed. We encourage and support the building of strong families. We want to assist and train parents in how to lead their families in a God honoring way. We are committed to reaching and developing all people into fully devoted followers of Jesus – from the cradle to the grave.
Pastor Adam - 5/8/2019