Why Parent/Child Dedications?

This Sunday, we have the joy to dedicate two sets of parents and two wonderful little boys! Here’s an explanation of why we do what we do…

Why “Parent & Child Dedications”?

  • The practice of child dedication is based on scriptural precedent, rooted in the Old Testament, in which Jesus was presented to the Lord in the temple as an infant (Luke 2:22-35).
  • The practice of child dedication is also based on, and acknowledges, God’s blessing towards and care for children (Isaiah 54:13; Matthew 18:1-5, 10; 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17; Acts 2:39; 1 John 2:12-13).
  • The practice of child dedication is fundamentally an act of the parents. It is a commitment that parents make in their heart before Jesus and agree to live out in their home together. The dedication we perform during the church gathering is simply a public acknowledgment of that commitment.
  • In dedicating a child, parents acknowledge that their children are a gift given to them by God (Genesis 33:5; Psalm 127:3-5). As such they are a blessing, privilege, and tremendous source of joy (Proverbs 23:24-25) — even though they require much labor. Ultimately, we recognize that they have been created by our Father in heaven (Psalm 139:13) and, as such, belong to him, though entrusted to parents to be raised in Christ (Exodus 13:2, 12).
  • In dedicating children, parents commit to live as people who, by the grace of God, have a genuine walk with Jesus. In this way, they are committing to live a life worthy of emulation so as to not serve as a stumbling block to their child’s ongoing faith and trust in Jesus. (Matt. 18:5-6)
  • At the same time, our church (elders, deacons, members and community) commits to supporting, encouraging and praying for parents, by the grace of God, as they seek to fulfill their God-given task of parenting and raising their child up in the knowledge of the Lord.

Child Dedication is Not:

  • Baptism: In order to avoid any confusion, it is important to note that dedicating children is neither a “dry” baptism nor a substitute for baptism. As a church, we recognize believer’s baptism (i.e. baptism following the placing of your faith in Jesus) as the biblical model of baptism.
  • Magic: This likely goes without saying, but it too needs to be said. The practice of dedicating children is not magic, nor a formula by which to manipulate God, nor does it place any kind of extra-special blessing or protection upon children, nor does it secure or ensure their immediate or eventual salvation.

(Adapted and used by permission from Downtown Cornerstone Church, Seattle, WA. http://www.downtowncornerstone.org/2014/04/30/mothers-day-child-dedications.)