Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Immense Task of Biblical Parenting

Sunday we dedicated 7 children and their parents to the Lord as they embark on the adventure of Biblical parenting. The family is God's thing! The Church's role is to partner with parents as they take responsibility to raise the children in the ways and Word of the Lord.

For those who don't attend Grace (I know you're out there!) and for those who are so captivated by those cute babies that you don't hear a word I say on those mornings, I thought it might be valuable to post my dedicatory thoughts, my charge to the parents and to the church family. So here they are . . .

Purpose of Dedication. . .

In the dedication of children, we are acknowledging these three things:

  1. We acknowledge that Children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3 Behold children are a gift from the Lord.)
  2. We acknowledge that salvation is by God’s Grace alone through faith alone. If our children are to be saved, they must be saved by God. Child dedication is not the impartation of God's grace, but the plea for God's grace in the life of these children. (Psalm 139:17-18 The lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children. To those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them.)
  3. We acknowledge our role and responsibility as parents to be continually bringing our children to the feet of Jesus through biblical instruction and discipline and by modeling God’s grace in the home. (Mark 10:13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them; but when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.)
Charge to the Parents. . .
  • Do you acknowledge that your child has been born in sin, is a member of Adam's race, and in desperate need of the saving Grace of God?
  • Do you believe that this saving grace is found only through the righteous life and perfect death of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lived, died and rose again on our behalf?
  • Do you accept your responsibility as parents to raise your children in the ways and Word of the Lord, teaching and modeling His Grace in your home and as you raise your child? And do you commit yourself to pray that the Lord would draw your child to Himself, lovingly becoming a Savior to your children, even as He has promised?
Charge to the Church. . .

Do you, the family of Grace, recognize that these children have been placed in our community by God, and do you covenant together with these parents to live godly lives before our children, asking God to use our lives to bring them to salvation?

Child Dedication Sundays are special days for me as a pastor. I love holding those little ones. I love it that God is bringing new young families and new life to His Church. May we be faithful in our task to bringing them to the feet of Jesus.

Our next Child Dedication will be Father's Day, June 18th. Contact the church office to arrange to dedicate your child and yourself today.


Brianna Heldt said...

What a blessing it was having our sons dedicated to the Lord on Sunday! It is truly wonderful to have the love and support of Grace Church, and to be raising our kids in such a neat church family.

Lisa Lewis said...

Our family moved to Grace 11 years ago this summer. Both of our sons have grown up among the family of Grace. We praise God for the many godly examples of living out the gospel we have seen over the years. My sons have watched as men have gone through seasons of life; parenting their children, walking a daughter down the aisle, saying goodbye when a parent has been promoted to Heaven. They have witnessed hard work and compassion, faithfulness and wonderful senses of humor, wise stewardship and commitment to marriages. They have seen all these wonderful character traits in other men because of being actively involved in the body life at Grace. These aspects weren't seen on Sunday mornings only; they have been lived out through relationship. If we, as the community of believers at Grace, take our charge seriously then we must be living our lives before these children, asking God to use us in their lives. I thank God often for the gift of relationship for my sons that they might see what He desires for them as men through the many examples of Biblical manhood they have seen at Grace. I am reminded of Paul writing to the church at Thessalonica: "You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory." Let us all take this charge seriously and be involved in the lives of these young families to love and support them as my own family has received love and support over the years.
Thank you to the men of Grace for living out the gospel before my sons. It means the world to me.