During each Child Dedication, we ask parents/guardians to make the following promises:
1. Do you recognize these children as gifts of God and give heartfelt thanks for God's blessing?
Children are a gift—regardless of the timing and circumstances of their arrival. They are not an accident. They are a gift—no matter how they come. They are a gift even when they are not what we expect. They are a gift even when they come with infantile seizures, and chromosome irregularities, heart problems, deformities, blindness, tumors, brain damage, respiratory issues, etc. They are a gift when they are throwing up in the middle of the night and displaying their temper in the grocery store. It is an honor to be entrusted by God with these gifts.
2. Do you now dedicate your children to the Lord who gave them to you, surrendering all worldly claims upon their lives in the hope that they will belong wholly to Jesus Christ?
This promise expresses our submission to God and to his purposes for our children, in the hope that our children will belong wholly to Jesus Christ. Although children are a gift from God to us, he retains “ownership”—his sovereign right—to our children. More specifically, he retains the right: to give and to take on his timetable, to bring our children to faith in his way, on his schedule and according to his purpose, and to lead our children wherever he pleases.
3. Do you pledge as parents that, with God's fatherly help, you will bring up your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, making every effort, with faithfulness, patience, and love, to build the Word of God, the character of Christ and the joy of the Lord into their lives?
The focus of this promise expresses our commitment to faithfully carry out our Deuteronomy 6:4 and Ephesians 6:7 responsibilities—emphasizing the aim and tone of this effort and acknowledging our limitations and ultimate dependence on God.
4. Do you promise to provide, through God's blessing, for the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of your children, looking to your own heavenly Father for the wisdom, love, and strength to serve them and not use them?
Here we promise to provide for our children in every way. This promise would be impossible to keep without the qualifiers “through God’s blessing” and “looking to your own heavenly Father.” This promise also reinforces a commitment to Christ-like, servant-hearted, parenting that recognizes children exist for God—for his glory—not for our personal satisfaction and pleasure. Do you promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that by God's grace your children will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises to them, even eternal life; and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey his teachings. This promise is our expression of hope that God will save our children and that they will passionately follow Jesus.
5. Do you promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that by God's grace your children will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises to them, even eternal life; and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey his teachings?
This promise is our expression of hope that God will save our children and that they will passionately follow Jesus.
To dedicate your child at College Park Church, please visit yourchurch.com/children.