Child Dedication Info

"Train up child in the way he should go..."

Child Dedication: Parents Partnering with God as They Raise Their Children

As a church, we desire to help you succeed in the parenting journey. For this reason, we have prepared the following information to assist you in understanding Child Dedication more thoroughly. 

Glad Tidings recognize children are a gift from God and we are so glad you are considering dedicating yours to the Lord! 

Dedicating one’s children to the Lord is an important pledge parents make to God. It is through child dedication that parents make this covenant and pledge their commitment to pass the Christian faith on to their children.

What is Child Dedication?

Child Dedication is a commitment parents make before God to raise their child in a way that honors Him. It is also a time when your child is prayed over and anointed asking for God’s blessing to be upon him or her.

Like a marriage ceremony, it can be done in either a public service before the entire church or a private setting among close friends. Whichever setting you choose, you, as the parent(s), are pledging to train your children in cooperation with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, in the Christian faith; seeking to instill love for God and faith in Jesus Christ all the days of their life. 

The word "dedication" means "to consecrate" or the act of setting apart people or things to serve God. In the Old Testament, we see how Hannah prayed for a child and promised God that the child, Samuel, would be given to the Lord all the days of his life. (1 Samuel 1:11, 28). In the New Testament, we see how Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple to "present" Him to the Lord (Luke 2:22). These parents took this act very seriously and were making a commitment in presenting their children to the Lord. In both Scripture passages, the parents entrusted their child completely to God.

Child Dedication is a commitment parents make to do their part to raise the child before the Lord. Just as the Nazarite children in the Bible had set boundaries and lived their lives set apart to God from birth (Judges 13:5), parents today, through child dedication, commit to living a godly lifestyle themselves and of raising their child in a lifestyle separated from the world’s ways and values.

The writings of Moses found in Deuteronomy 6:5–9 describe God's plan for how a parent should raise up a child:

"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 door frames of your houses and on your gates."

One key step in marking your desire to bring your child up in the ways of God is to dedicate him or her to God, through a Child Dedication ceremony.

What Child Dedication is Not...

1. Child dedication is not a requirement of God. Although the practice has strong Biblical basis, child dedication is not an ordinance given by God to His followers. The two ordinances given by God to believers in the New Testament are water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. As Christians, we are baptized and participate in the Lord’s Supper as outward, public signs of what Christ has done within us when we surrendered our lives to Him in turning from our sins and believing in His name for salvation.

2. Child dedication is not a secret formula for keeping your child from experiencing harm or pain throughout life.

3. Child dedication is not a sacrament; nor does impart salvation to a child. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as each person recognizes their sinfulness and receives forgiveness and eternal life through Christ and His work on the cross. Even when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to dedicate Him to the Lord, although it was slightly more involved since it included a sacrifice, even that ceremony did not indicate or imply any level of salvation associated with the act. We do believe, however, until the age of accountability children are sanctified by the faith of the believing parent (I Cor. 7:13,14).