The Baby Dedication!
Baby dedications…what’s the significance? The baby is totally unaware of what is happening around it during a dedication. So, what’s the big deal? We had a baby dedication today at church. I play guitar in the orchestra and during dedications, the orchestra remains seated on the platform because the praise and worship continues afterwards. Today, I admit I did not hear much of what the Pastor was saying. From my seat on stage, I get a close-up view of the baby and the family. I was not listening today as I was observing the Mom, Dad, brother, sister, grandfathers, grandmothers, a couple of uncles, cousins, and a great grandmother. There were a total of 20 folks standing up for this 6 month old child. I thought to myself how fortunate this baby is to have a family who understands the importance of God in a child’s life!
I believe there is a single word that proclaims the significance of a baby dedication: ‘foundation’. There was a time when families lived in the same towns for generations. The thought that a child would move hundreds of miles away was unheard of! When trials and tribulations came along, the family members were within minutes of one another’s house. My Mother lives in the same house that she and my Dad built in 1955. My Mom is 79 years old and if she had to drive to the state capitol, she wouldn’t know which road to take out of town! She has lived her entire life in the town where she was born.
Today, times have changed. Children frequently leave home and live hundreds of miles away from their parents so when troubles arise, the family is usually not minutes away. A child with a strong and godly foundation will react differently than a person with no God-based foundation. The baby dedication is often the cornerstone of the child’s foundation on which its morals, perception of right and wrong, and decision making criteria are formed. Proverbs 22:6 tells parents to teach their children the right way to go and when they grow older, they will remain upon it! That is powerful. The family who dedicates their child to the Lord publically professes their promise to bring the child up in a godly fashion.
Babies and children are very precious to Jesus. Unfortunately, in today’s world, many do not appreciate or understand the importance of a child to God. Psalm 139 clearly tells us what God thinks. Yes, life begins at in the womb according to God. Mankind denies this and has committed millions of murders by aborting pregnancies.
In the United States, over 1,000,000 murders (under the guise of abortion) are committed each year. There are over 46,000,000 murders in the world each year. Those who support abortion claim that abortion is justified because of incest, rape, or if the pregnancy endangers either the baby’s or the Mother’s life. This sounds like a strong case for abortion but in reality, less than 10% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest or because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child. Sadly, over 90% of all abortions occur because the child is either unwanted or inconvenient.
From Psalm 139:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
As I was woven together in the darkness of the womb.
You saw me before I was born,
Everyday of my life was recorded in Your book.
Every moment was laid out
Before a single day had passed.
In Luke 18:15 – 17, Jesus said "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." In Matthew 18:1-5, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, " Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus replied "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."
Can you imagine how different the world would be if all babies were dedicated to the Lord and were brought up in awe and respect of God? Families who dedicate their children to the Lord construct a strong foundation upon which the child can build its life. It is my prayer that all families realize the importance of Biblical guidelines in raising their children – and that the guidelines begin when the child is a baby! What better way to encourage other families with small children than to dedicate your own!