A Baby/Child Dedication is a ceremony in which believing parents, and sometimes entire families, make a commitment before the Lord to submit a child to God’s will and to raise that child according to God’s Word and God’s ways.
The practice of a Baby Dedication is rooted in this passage found in Deuteronomy 6:4-7: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (ESV)
Christian parents who dedicate a child are making a promise to the Lord before the church congregation to do everything within their power to raise the child in a godly way, prayerfully, until he or she can make a decision on his or her own to follow God.
Parents who make this vow, or commitment, are instructed to raise the child in the ways of God and not according to their own ways. Some of the responsibilities include teaching and training the child in God’s Word, demonstrating practical examples of godliness, disciplining the child according to God’s ways, and praying earnestly for the child.
Hannah, a barren woman, prayed for a child:
And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 1 Samuel 1:11 (NIV)
When God answered Hannah’s prayer by giving her a son, she remembered her vow, presenting Samuel to the Lord:
“As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:26-28 (NIV)