“Consecrate to Me all the first born, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, … it is Mine.” Ex. 13:2 (NKJV)
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed … “ Psalm 127: 3–5 (NKJV)
“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them … But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God …’. And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.” Mark 10: 13- 15 (NKJV)
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Eph. 6:4 (NKJV) Proverbs 17:6 (NKJV)
Hannah in dedicating Samuel to the Lord – “Therefore I have also lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord. ” 1Samuel 1:28 (NKJV)
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” – Deut. 6: 6,7 (NKJV)
“Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, you have ordained strength, because of your enemies, that you may silence the enemy and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2 (NKJV)
Q. We just joined LWCC but my youngest child is not an infant. Will we still be allowed to have him dedicated?
A. Traditionally, baby dedication takes place before the child’s first birthday but older children may be dedicated at least up until (3) years of age. Please see an Elder.
Q. I am a single-parent attending LWCC. I do not have a marriage partner. Can I still dedicate my child?
A. Absolutely. You would be obligated and encouraged to do so.
Q. I am saved and regularly attend LWCC. However, my husband (wife) is not saved and does not attend but is willing to have our child dedicated. Is this possible?
A. Yes, and you are encouraged to do so. As the saved parent, it is your absolute responsibility to see to the spiritual growth of your child through your commitment in dedication. Often, in fact, participation is a powerful witness for an unbelieving spouse and can even result in their personal acceptance of the Lord.
Q. We are not official members of LWCC but attend regularly. May we have our child dedicated?
A. It is not required that you be an official member but only that you have attended corporate worship with some regularity, defined informally as a minimum of three(3) months.
Q. What about godparents?
A. In the unusual event a parent is unable to fulfill their role as the child’s spiritual caretaker, it is prudent to have a saved, trusted, God-fearing, relative or friend to assume this important role.
Q. How often are baby dedications held?
A. Public baby dedications are performed, in groups, during a regular service, at least 3-4 times per year. Please see an elder for any possible exceptions.
Just as “dedication” does not mean “baptism”, likewise “baby dedication” is not a “baby baptism” and does not have the status of a sacrament at LWCC.
Nor is the water-baptizing of infants even scriptural. In Acts 2:38 the Apostle Peter answers the men of Judea that, in order for them to be saved, they must “repent and be baptized”. An infant has no sin to repent of and so is incapable of repenting and therefore not scripturally eligible for baptism.
In fact, nowhere in either the old or new testament were infants baptize but rather “dedicated” in the temple – including the infant Jesus (Luke 2:22-24).
Baby dedication at LWCC is an informal church ceremony that celebrates the commitment before the Lord of parents, relatives and the church family, assuring that the Christian child will be raised up according to God’s word and in God’s ways.
Since parents are the caretakers of the children God has given them, it is a time for parents to specifically be reminded of their unique calling to raise their children God’s way in the christian faith.
Because Christian parenting is such a sacred responsibility, the dedication ceremony is meant more for parents and family than for the child. In dedicating their child, parents acknowledge their God-given position as stewards of what really belongs to God and rightfully should be “dedicated” back to him.
Their promise is to do everything possible to raise their child in a godly way until the child reaches the age where capable of making a decision on their own to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
The baby dedication ceremony serves to remind the parents, family and church family of their awesome responsibility to this wonderful heritage from the Lord.
Children are a gift from God.
From their earliest childhood years, the importance of God’s presence in their lives must be stressed – living a prosperous, pure, and meaningful life before God and man.
Parents are the keepers of the awesome trust of handling the responsibility of raising a child. The duty of teaching a child and making sure they are raised in the reverant fear of God and in his service, belongs to the parent alone.
In both word and action and by their everyday example, parents must strive to live a good Christian life and teach by their example, the value of a good name and reputation.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
Much is expected of both the parents and family of the newly dedicated child. As a divine responsibility, Christian parenting is to be taken seriously and afforded the high level of importance it deserves.
Some of these expectations and responsibilities include:
• Raise the child in A Godly way
• Teach and train them up in God’s Word
• Demonstrate godliness at home
• Discipline according to God’s Word
• Pray earnestly for God’s protection
• Use wisdom in carrying out parental responsibilities
• Stand in faith that the child will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior
“Now when the days … were completed, they brought him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’) …” Luke 2:22, 23 (NKJV)