This post originally appeared on Pastor Dave Kakish’s personal blog.
I was asked to compose a brief post on the reasons behind why we dedicate our children to the Lord. However, I cannot do so without disclosing that there is no clear Biblical mandate which dictates the practice of child dedication. So in a way, to each his own. My hope then in writing this post is not to convince you of anything, but to explain to you our reasoning and intentions in choosing to take part in this sacred tradition.
Again, while our rationale is not built so much on a specific Biblical imperative, it is formed around an amalgam of Biblical wisdom and simple pragmatics. What I mean is, after considering all the texts concerning children, dedicating our children is what we have decided was best for our family. The purpose of this divulgation is so that you can (I don’t know why anyone would want to) trace the thought process, foundation, and benefits of our thinking.
The train of thought behind why we decided to dedicate our children is a three-fold process, for from our perspective it involves three parties: God, us, and our Church.
While the timing of this post may appear seemingly random, it is not. On June 24th (4 Sundays from now), we will be dedicating the newest addition to the Kakish clan, Lewis David Kakish. In light of this, I will be explaining one point of our rationalization per week.
Week One: Us before God.
A child dedication is a visible act that symbolizes the reality that this child does not belong to us.
Paul tells the church in Corinth that they are not their own, but were bought at a price. For some reason, we have the tendency to assume that this truth does not apply to our offspring; we claim this ownership of them, ‘that’s my kid.’ The Scriptures tell us that children are not only a gift, but a reward from God (Psalm 127:3). But that does not suggest a transfer of ownership, rather we are stewards of these mini-mes. For us, the act of dedication involves making a vow to the Lord to train up our children in the way that they should go, not the way that we wish we would’ve went. We cannot project our visions of self-grandeur onto our progeny, but we are called to help them find God’s will for their life (even when that includes skipping college, becoming missionaries, or not marrying a doctor).
We do this by:
- Lovingly disciplining them to show them their actions have consequences (Hebrews 12:7-11). [for more on this, read my previous post why we spank our kids]
- Diligently teaching them and reminding them of the truth of Scripture (Deuteronomy 6:4-8).
- Constantly showing them, through even the mundane things, to see the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 12:2).
- Patiently and thoughtfully leading them to hear the voice of God (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4).
- Purposefully encouraging them to find their identity in the fact that they bear the image of God and not in self-worth or abilities (Romans 1:25).