Child dedication is one of the practices undertaken on children in church. Every parent looks forward to bringing their child officially to church, and committing them to the Lord. This article intends to walk through the practice of child dedication, what exactly it entails, who qualifies for it, and how to go about child dedication. The article is a rendition of a sermon I preached on the dedication of children. We start by looking at who a child is. There are 3 definitions I look at as follows. A young human being below the age of puberty or below the age of the majority. Since we will also be focusing on scriptures a lot, we will look at the reference of children in the scriptures. A child is a son or a daughter of any age. This refers to a descendant of man. So anyone no matter what age they are, old or young is considered a child of someone, something, or a place. ie. The children of Israel. The last definition we will look at is the definition from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. They define a child as a human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to a child.
Behold, children are a gift (Heritage) of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.Psalm 127:3 NASB
Dedication is deciding that something will be used for a particular purpose and no other. It is also consecrating something or someone to a sacred use by solemn rights. This is to say that something is set apart for a sacred purpose, we mean the purposes of God. Children are an important aspect of society. Children are significant because they play a key role in the propagation of generations. We see a lot of focus on children in the scriptures. Children are important in the bible because they are a mark of divine favor, they are representative of offspring or descendants and they are key in representing simplicity and humility. We see in the scriptures how the lack of children, brought sorrow to those who did not have children. Those who had numerous families were regarded as favored. We see the case of Sarah before Isaac, Rachel before his sons, and Hanah before Samuel. It is understandable now how important it is to set apart children for the Lord’s purposes. All these women who were in pain for not having children at some point ended up having children who turned out to be key in the larger salvation story.
When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!”Genesis 30:1 ESV
Children who were dedicated in the Bible include Samuel the son of Hannah and Elkanah, Jesus Himself, and a whole ‘Sunday school’ of unnamed children at some point who were brought out to Jesus. This we read in Matthew 19. What is interesting about this particular dedication is that Jesus was right in the middle of a sermon on marriage. The parents who seemed to have understood the times and seasons like the sons of Issachar, brought forward their children to be blessed. In the simplest of ways, the process of Child dedication just means bringing the child to Jesus. We will see how to go about this in a follow-up article on how child dedication is done.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.Matthew 19:13-15 ESV
With this in mind, child dedication is a simple God-given process that is initiated by a parent or guardian of a child towards their child. It started in the old testament and flows through to the new testament and one of the benefits is that we see all the children who were dedicated became of great importance to the gospel. So we should be encouraged to initiate this to our children as well as encourage others to align to the Lord’s will and purposes for us all to set apart our children for Him. All we need to do is to take our children to church and get the spiritual authority over our life to lay hands on them and pray for them. Yes, I know as a parent you should do that, ought to have done that, and constantly do that – it is our responsibility. However, there is an added list of blessings and benefits that are unlocked by officially taking them to church for that in addition to the one done constantly by the parent. The world already has enough evil and destructive plans for our children, the enemy shouldn’t be given a chance to destroy upcoming generations.
We will be looking into the significance of children in the next article.