Why do baby dedications? - 3 Reasons we dedicated our boys.
My wife, Shannon, and I have dedicate all three of our boys after they were born. While North Church doesn’t do Infant Baptism, we do have baby dedications. On December 17th, our church will be having baby dedications. If you aren’t familiar with baby dedications, this is where the parents present the child to the church, the church and the parents promise to raise the child to know about Jesus, and they pray for the child and family.
There isn’t anything magical about a baby dedication. It doesn’t make the child a Christian (only Jesus can do that). It’s actually more for the parents and the church. This isn’t to try to secure the child a place in heaven, but it’s to set in the heart of the parents and church how the child should be raised. If it doesn’t save the child, why should you do a baby dedication?
Well here are the three reasons, Shannon and I dedicated our children.
1. IT’S BIBLICAL
You see in the Old Testament that God gave Abraham a sign to show that he and his family were dedicated to the Lord (circumcision). As we entered the new covenant, we see that this particular symbol was done away with as the sign. Baptism replaced it as the sign of someone that has believed in Jesus for their salvation. While some would now say that we should now baptize infants because of this, I don’t see enough in scripture to support baptizing children (another topic for another time). I see baptism consistently happening when someone comes to a personal faith in Jesus.
What I do see constantly in scripture though is parents being dedicated to raising their children to know Jesus.
2. IT’S COUNTER-CULTURAL
Where we live in Albuquerque, NM, it seems like we generally have three options when it comes to the subject of dedicating your child – Abandonment, Religion, or Spirituality. The majority of kids in Albuquerque will grow up without a dad in their house. They will never know what it means to have the daily influence of a man in their lives. They will grow up having daddy issues that only Jesus can save them from. By the grace of God, my boys will not have to experience that.
To say that Albuquerque is steeped in Catholic tradition would be an understatement. While I believe there are a lot of Catholics that love Jesus, and I’ll be hanging out in heaven with, there are a lot of Catholics in this area that feel they have get in to heaven free ticket. They will site that they were baptized as an infant and took their first holy communion at such and such an age. Their faith is based in a ceremony and not in Jesus.
If you’re not abandoned or religious in ABQ, then you’re left to be raised in some vague spiritual system. Children are raised with a mix of various religious, spiritual, and demonic rituals. This leaves the child finding their righteousness in anything and everything…other than Jesus.
I want my sons' dedication to be a counter-cultural witness to the saving grace of Jesus alone. We are dedicated to Jesus alone, and we dedicated them to Jesus alone. By the grace of God, we are raising them to trust in Jesus and not religion or spirituality.
3. IT’S FAMILIAL
While baby dedication is about parents dedicating their children, it is also about the church saying they are dedicated as well. That they are dedicated to supporting the parents in bringing their children up in the name of Jesus. The church is dedicated to preaching Jesus to the kids. It is about one large family being dedicated to each other.
Shannon and I want to build a legacy. We want the name Qualls to decrease and the name of Jesus to always increase. When I hear the name Graham, Wesley, Spurgeon, and Edwards, I think of Jesus. I want the name of Qualls to be synonymous with Jesus. The sad thing is that it only takes one generation for this to stop.
Therefore, it is my prayer that some day I will get to be at the baby dedications of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I pray that my boys will grow up in the church, being loved and directed to Jesus.
But it must start with us. Please join us on December 17th, and if you have a child you would like to dedicate, please let us know.