Family series #2: Dedication
We continue our comments from Deuteronomy 22:8 about our responsibility of building battlements or walls of protection around our homes to protect our children. This spiritual, as well as physical responsibility, starts with the father; but a wise mother works in harmony with her husband to protect her family. Let’s consider those walls of protection.
Before we consider those walls, we need to make sure our home has a firm, solid foundation. In I Corinthians 3:9-15 Paul speaks of Christ as that foundation. To have a Christian home, both husband and wife need to make sure they are both trusting in Christ alone for salvation and that both are submitted to the Lordship of Christ. . A Christian home must be built on Christian principles.
The first wall of protection is dedication.
If ours is to be a Christian home, both husband and wife must each have dedicated their lives to Christ. Paul writes to every Christians in Romans 12:1-2 ” I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Success as parents starts with both parents yielded fully to God, ready to do whatever His Word says. Whether you are a young couple anticipating marriage or whether you have been married for several years, I urge you to get involved in a church where Christ is magnified and where the Bible is clearly taught and applied to life. Some of the preaching may go against your grain and irritate you, but if you are wise you will honestly face God’s Word and test everything you hear by what the Bible says. Dedicate yourself to God to read His Word together daily and spend time talking to Him together. Unless you are both dedicated to God, one of the important walls of protection is lacking in your home and your children will suffer for it.
Dedicate your children
As dedicated Christian parents I would urge you to publicly dedicate your children to God in a church service. It can be a blessing to you, to your children and to the rest of the congregation. In a dedication service you are publicly acknowledging that your child is a gift of God and that you recognize He has entrusted your child to you for about 18 years to train for His glory. You recognize your lack of wisdom to take on this sobering responsibility and your total dependence on God and His Word for that wisdom. Your trust is in God for success. Your desire for your children is that they each come to know Christ as Saviour and Lord and that they surrender their wills to Him.
Two examples of infant dedication are given in Scripture.
Hannah brought her infant son, Samuel, to the temple and presented him to the Lord. She said, “For this child I prayed and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him: therefore also have I lent him to the Lord, as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord. And she worshipped the Lord there.” I Samuel 1:27-28
In the New Testament we read of Mary and Joseph bringing the infant Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord. You can read the story in Luke 2:21-22. We must not mistake infant dedication with baptism. Jesus was dedicated to the Lord as an infant and He was baptized in the Jordan River when He was about 30 years old. Luke 3:21-23
There are other walls that we will be discussing, but there can be no success in any other area of parenting until this wall of dedication has been built.
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