Children are a gift from God. Like everything good in life, they come from God and they belong to Him. Parents are caretakers of the children God has given them. As parents speak to the pastor about their desire to dedicate their children to God, there are several questions they should ask themselves:
Since dedication of children is a Christian act of giving children to God for His glory, the most obvious question to ask is, "Are we Christians?" As a couple standing before God dedicating their child to Him in a Christian church, their life should show the characteristics of Christ. Sometimes people bring their babies for dedication because it is "the thing to do." God is honored by hearts that genuinely desire to please Him without regard for what others think. Christian dedication of babies is for Christian families.
The next question is, "Are we serious about this dedication?" Parents should ask themselves if they really want to see their child serve God. Would they like to see their child become a preacher, a Christian businessman, a missionary, or a common laborer for Christ? When Hannah, the mother of Samuel the prophet dedicated him to the Lord, she promised to give him up to serve God in the temple (1 Samuel 1-2:11).
Dedication of children to God means handing them over to Him to do with as He pleases. An act of dedication is an act of faith in God, trusting Him to call the children wisely and mercifully. Another question that is appropriate to ask at the time of Christian Dedication is, "Are we willing to oversee our child's Christian development?" Scripture tells us that we are to train a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6). This includes meeting together regularly as Christians to spur one another on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:23-24).
Dedication of children to God is a promise to model a Christian lifestyle to the children, worshipping with a church family regularly. In a sense, a Christian Dedication of a child is a dedication of the parents to be godly role models. A final question to ask is, "Are we, the parents, in agreement on this?" A pastor cannot really dedicate someone else's baby to God, because the baby does not belong to the pastor. The parents have been made caretakers of their baby. Only they can dedicate the child to God. It is important that they are committed to the Christian Dedication.
As parents presenting your child to the Lord, you signify your own personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You show a desire to see God's will carried out in the life of your child; and you acknowledge your place as stewards of what really belongs to God – your child.
Dedication means that by word and example, you promise to teach your child to live a holy life and to value the good gifts God has given us. You promise to give your child every opportunity and encouragement to develop into the well-rounded Christian individual God intends him or her to be.
Dedication before God and the Church means that you realize that the Church should has a large part in the spiritual growth of your family. The church body should know you and your child, so they can give prayer support and assist in Bible teaching. They will provide opportunities, facilities and workers through which you and your child can enter into the fullness of Christian faith.