Establishing the Foundation
As Christians, there is tremendous responsibility given to us when the Lord blesses us with a child.
He entrusts us with the responsibility of bringing up that child in the ways of the Lord and establishing early in his/her life a foundation built upon Jesus Christ.
It is this responsibility that causes us to think of baby dedications as “family dedications.”
We feel that the whole family unit needs to be lifted up to the Lord so that each member will be able to keep his or her commitment.
What exactly is involved in “dedicating” your child to the Lord?
As mentioned in our theme scripture, children are a heritage from the Lord. He gives them to us to bless us, and because of this, we must be willing to give them back to Him.
We too, must be willing to totally submit our children to the will of our Father.
A perfect example: In 1 Samuel 1:11, 26–28, Hannah, being barren (without child) for many years, was weeping before the Lord because of her condition.
As she was weeping, she made a vow to God. “Then she made a vow and said, ‘O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life…”
God heard Hannah’s request and gave her a son named Samuel. Hannah, in keeping her vow, dedicated (or set apart) Samuel unto the Lord.
A Parent’s Calling
The list below is but a few of the responsibilities that God calls us to as parents. It needs to be said that if you are not a born again Christian, these responsibilities will be impossible to keep.
Calvary Chapel South Bay (CCSB) will decline any requests to dedicate children if the parents do not know Jesus as their personal Savior.
We cannot allow people to make a vow unto the Lord if they do not have an understanding of the responsibilities that go along with making that vow. We view this as an act of protection, not as an act of rejection.
Here are some scriptures relating to this point:
There are instances recorded in the Bible where vows have been made by individuals to the Lord and have not kept them. As a result of breaking their vows, these people were dealt with severely by God. This is not our desire for anyone.
Hopefully, you can now understand our viewpoint as being totally Biblical.
The dedication of your family to God is something too serious to be entered into lightly. It is hoped that this has helped you to recognize the extent of this commitment that you will be making.
Pray & Instruct
We see here a beautiful example of what our attitudes should be toward our children and their relationship with God.
We are to do the most we can to “set apart” our children to God until the day that they can make their own choice (something all of us must do at one time or another).
By dedicating your children to the Lord, you are making a vow to raise them in His ways and not your own. You are committing yourselves to this promise and must do everything possible to keep it.
The following is a list (though not exhaustive) of some of the things parents should do as part of keeping their vow:
Pray constantly for your child:
Job gives us an example of this in Job 1:5. “…Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, ‘It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ This Job did regularly.”
Instruct your child in the way of the Lord:
And Proverbs 22:6 adds, “Train up a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
If we, while our children are young, instruct them in His ways, we would be able to lay a foundation for our children to make a life-long commitment to the Lord.
Be a living example of Christ to your children:
Therefore, you must always be examining yourself and your witness to your children.
The main reason for the blessed state of this man’s children is that they have someone to look up to and follow as an example, even as Christ is our example.
Discipline our children the same way the Lord disciplines us:
As you can see, by chastening or disciplining your child, you are showing your love for him.
This brings us to the motivation of discipline. Any discipline you give to your child should be done for their profit and not as a release for your anger and/or frustration.
Remember that you are to discipline your child in the same way the Lord disciplines you. God never strikes at His children in anger, and you should not either.
The book of Proverbs teaches us many practical aspects concerning the discipline we are to provide for our children.
Some of the scriptures that relate to this subject are as follows:
“The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Correct your son, and he will give you rest;
Yes, he will give delight to your soul.” — Proverbs 29:15, 17
“He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” — Proverbs 13:24
“Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction.” — Proverbs 19:18
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. -Heb 12:5-11
Do not break their spirit:
If you are able to do this, then you will be disciplining your children in the way the Lord wants you to.
Colossians 3:21 reads, “ Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”
Your host on the day of the dedication
We will provide you a host that will be available to help you with anything you need before and during the dedication. The week of your baby dedication, your host will give you a call to answer any questions you might have, explain the order of events, and fully assist you on the day of your dedication.
Inviting your family and friends to the dedication
When inviting friends and family to the dedication, please emphasize the importance of staying for the service.
Our services are designed primarily for adults.
Please inform your guests who are bringing children that classes are offered for children from infants to high schoolers. Children age may be in the sanctuary when accompanied by a parent.
We do not allow other family members or friends backstage before or after the dedication.
This is a great time to invite family members and friends who do not know the Lord so that they can hear the gospel message and see the love of Jesus.
If you have any questions or need clarification, please contact the Church Office at (310) 352-3333.
Stage attire during the dedication
The attire you select should be made with modesty in mind (1 Timothy 2:9–10) so that God is honored throughout our services. Conservative dress/ business casual is appropriate. Please refrain from anything that would draw attention to your body by ensuring all hem lines are appropriate (i.e. dresses and skirt below the knee, shoulders covered, necklines covering any cleavage, midriffs covered, etc.)
If you have read and understood this information and would like to continue to have your child dedicated, you may complete an application online below
Once reviewed, you will be contacted by church staff.
For more information, contact Allison Helvey using the form below.
Please send us a message and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible