Jesus placed a high value on children. We believe that we have a responsibility to pray for, teach, and nurture our children as a body, and to equip parents with the skills to raise their children. You, the parent, are the number one influence in your child’s life and bear responsibility to train them and teach them the Word. Deuteronomy 6
Dedicating children to the Lord is a beautiful act of our faith in Him. In 1 Samuel, we read the story of Hannah who struggled with her self-worth because she could not have children. But she trusted the Lord and knew He heard her heart's cry for a child. She was fervent in worship and effective in prayer. She knew what a precious gift a child was. She discovered that the greatest joy in having a child is to give that child fully and freely back to God. She entered into motherhood prepared to do what all parents must eventually do, let go of their children. This is s beautiful picture of what you are doing in the child dedication ceremony.
Although the dedication ceremony is beautiful and symbolic, it is not a seal of a child’s salvation. Dedicating a child can not ensure that he or she will automatically walk in the way of the Lord. Instead, it is an acknowledgement of our responsibility to lead our children to God. As we give our children to the Lord, we should pause and dedicate ourselves to doing everything possible to treat them according to God’s Word. We should commit ourselves to obey and submit to Jesus and to give our children our time, energy, devotion, and prayers. The Bible’s admonition to, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) means a commitment to their moral training and to shape them for the future.
At the dedication ceremony you will be given an opportunity to share a blessing for your child. Whether you decide to publicly share this or simply write it down, we want to give you some tools to help guide the formation of this blessing.
At the dedication ceremony you will be given a “Faith Box”. This box will be a place for you to collect your child's keepsake items from their spiritual milestones. The blessing you prepare for your child will be one of the first items you will want to store in your child's “Faith Box”
Please read and work through the following points of the blessing as you prepare for your child's dedication ceremony.
What is a blessing?
In the Old Testament, children waited for years to receive a special impartation from their father. Usually this did not happen until the near death of their father. While financial wealth was passed to children, it was the word, touch, acceptance and love, as well as a prophetic pronouncement regarding the child's future that was most important. A blessing imparted a sense of value into a child's life and, depending on the blessing, could set the course for the rest of their life.
This was the choice set before Israel, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19
To bless means “you are such great value to me, I choose to add to your life”.
To curse means “to dry up the stream of life giving words”.
Why is a blessing so important?
We see a potent example of the power of a blessing, and the devastation of missing the blessing in the story of Jacob and Esau. (Found in Genesis 25-27)
Isaac is ready to bless Esau, his first born, but something goes terribly wrong. Isaac had been deceived. The blessing meant for the first born went instead to Jacob.
Esau’s cry, as a result was, “Bless me, me also, o my father”.
This cry was was not over a loss of the double portion of inheritance, for that had been sold to Jacob years before for some stew. ( Found in Genesis 25:29-34)
What broke Esau’s heart was missing the blessing from his father. Although he did end up receiving a blessing of sorts, it was not the words of value and acceptance that he longed to hear. (Found in Genesis 27: 38-40)
When children do not receive the unconditional love and acceptance of a blessing, they may move away from home physically, but they never move away emotionally.
What are the elements of a blessing?
Genesis 27:26 tells us that children need to be touched, hugged, even kissed on the cheek. Mark 10:13-14, 16 tells us that Jesus understood this. This makes meaningful touch one of the most important aspects of a blessing.
James 3:3-6 tells us that words are the most powerful tool in our arsenal. A spoken blessing is a positive, Biblical statement that invokes the blessing of God in the life of another. The power of spoken blessings comes from God, Who Himself “has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). A spoken message is an equally important part of the blessing.
It’s important that we attach our spoken (or written) words of “high value” to a loved one’s life – a “tangible” action that helps them know they have great value in your eyes and in God’s eyes as well. As Jacob blesses his sons and uses word pictures to point out each one’s potential. By doing this he attaches high value to each son through the spoken blessing. We are shown this is Genesis 49.
The last element of a meaningful blessing is to picture your child's future. Who do you want your child to become? Think about the type of person that you hope your child will become over the next 18 years. Think about the type of character you hope to see in your child. Just as God declared His plans for us in Jeremiah 29:11, you too can declare your plans for your child and picture a special future.
By focusing on the aforementioned elements, by reading through the bible verses mentioned and by praying for a deeper understanding of what a blessing is, you should be able to craft a blessing for your child that you can revisit throughout the years.
How we do the Child Dedication Ceremony.
Twice a year, June and December we hold Child Dedication Ceremonies.
The month prior to June or December you can register for the event at vccfs.org/inside-vcc/kids.
You may print of the blessing notes (hyper-link that please), as many as you need for yourself, the pastor, the kids pastor and anyone else you would like to give a blessing to your child.
On the day of the event, you will be asked to present your child at the front of church and be given an opportunity to read the blessing you have written for them, if you so desire.
The pastor will then publicly ask you as a parent to accept the responsibility for the spiritual nurture of your child. Then the pastor, elders, and kids pastor will lay hands on your child to give them a final blessing.
You will be presented a keepsake, called a Faith Box, where you can store and add to during other significant moments.