The dedication of a child to The Lord is not as much for the child as it is for the parents. The young child does not have a mind to understand what is happening, but the parents are the ones who are making the pledge to dedicate the child to God. It is the parents’ responsibilities.
It is often said that marriage is not as important today as it once was. In Genesis 1, however, God put Adam to asleep and brought forth Eve from Adam. There were only two people before God, and He was the authority in the relationship as a Father and as the authority within their covenant. After he united Adam and Eve, He told them to be fruitful and multiply. He invested that responsibility unto them and unto humanity. God knows everyone who is brought forth.
God has a plan for our life, but often we try to thwart His plan for us. It comes down to either accepting His Word, or rejecting it. Accepting God’s Word leads to a relationship with Jesus Christ, while rejecting it leads to eternal separation from God.
Parents have the responsibility to teach their children what is right and to follow Christ. It’s important to teach our children the truth. The greatest failure of the gospel lies with the parents.
5 He established a testimony in Jacob
and set up a law in Israel,
which He commanded our fathers
to teach to their children
6 so that a future generation—
children yet to be born—might know.
They were to rise and tell their children
7 so that they might put their confidence in God
and not forget God’s works,
but keep His commands.
8 Then they would not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not loyal
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
…the head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
then you will not stand at all.
Teach a youth about the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
3 Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
children, a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons born in one’s youth.
Parents may love their children, but they have to remember that God is the primary focus within the parent-child relationship.
Your faith in The Lord will determine your overall success in your family relationships. He provides the sure foundation under our feet.
To train a child in the way he should go does not mean the way he wants to go. Because of the sin nature that we are born with, we need to be trained to do the right things as we are growing up. Children growing up need direction that will help them to reach for things that are even greater that what they may realize.
To dedicate (according to Webster’s Dictionary) is to set apart for a deity or religious purpose; to devote to something. The Greek meaning is to place beside; to set at one’s disposal; to bring near.
When you dedicate your child, you are asking to set the child apart for God’s use and to have him be used by God. Your desire is to have him draw near to God and be under His authority when our very nature is to run away from God.
How are we to teach our children? We are to keep our commitments as we are held accountable for them.
21 “If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to keep it, because He will require it of you, and it will be counted against you as sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, it will not be counted against you as sin. 23 Be careful to do whatever comes from your lips, because you have freely vowed what you promised to the Lord your God.
4 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. 7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Christianity is not just for children–it’s for everyone. It’s for the children of God. A child will know how committed the parent is to God by the way he or she lives life. The child will see whether or not the parent really loves The Lord.
20 “When your son asks you in the future, ‘What is the meaning of the decrees, statutes, and ordinances, which the Lord our God has commanded you?’ 21 tell him, ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand.
Our children learn from us when we admit our mistakes. God calls each of us to emerge from darkness and to live in the Light of His presence. He calls each of us to renounce sin and to live for Him.
Where do we see a child being dedicated to The Lord in Scripture?
1 Samuel 1:24-28
24 When she had weaned him, she took him with her to Shiloh, as well as a three-year-old bull, half a bushel of flour, and a jar of wine. Though the boy was still young, she took him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull and brought the boy to Eli.
26 “Please, my lord,” she said, “as sure as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked Him for, 28 I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Then he bowed in worship to the Lord there.
22 And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
Note the parental commitment to giving the children to God. It is all about training the child before The Lord in an appropriate manner.
1. In order to lead your children to God, you must personally walk with God.
2. Parents expect their children not to love the world but to follow The Lord, while they themselves have still not made a commitment about God (this is about consistency in your life and how you’re living it).
3. Your children will learn to love what you love and disdain what you disdain. They will treasure what you treasure and condemn what you condemn.
4. The standard that you follow in spiritual matters will eventually be the standard that your children will follow.