Dedicate Your Baby, Dedicate Yourself
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
I remember sitting around the living room, many couples with bouncing brand new babies in their laps- my husband and I included. Madison was only a few months old when we dedicated her to the Lord. My church was hosting a dinner for the parents the night before Sunday’s dedication to explain the connotation of what dedicating a child to Jesus really meant. I was somewhat shocked to discover that dedicating a child starts with dedicating yourself. As parents looking to raise children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, we must be walking in his ways, seeking his will above all else.
Yes it’s important to read the Bible to your children. Yes it’s important to take them to church. But it is crucial that we are conditioning our hearts, first and foremost.
Our children are watching and learning by our example every second of everyday- not just when we read our Bibles and pray. There are no earmuffs or blinders when someone cuts you off in traffic, disobedient hearts cause your blood to boil and you begin to throw a temper tantrum yourself, or when you see a need you could meet and turn a blind eye instead.
Our children are always, always, always watching, learning by our example, absorbing what truly matters by the way we live our lives. Choose joy, grace, patience, and generosity, each day. Choose to model love in all things. Choose to shine the light of Jesus into your children’s hearts through the way you live your life.
Proverbs 22:6 kick-starts with the word, “train,” which translates to “hanok” in the original Hebrew text. “Hanok” connotes to “dedicated” or “consecrated.” Dedicate means: to devote. Consecrate means: to set apart for a sacred purpose. -Are you living a set apart life? Are you walking in the purposes the Lord has for you? Every day, the Lord assigns small, simple tasks that are ours to carry out and fulfill that bring him glory. These tasks can be anything from changing a dirty diaper, to texting a friend who might be feeling isolated or alone, to bringing that new Mama and her family a meal. These tasks that God assigns to us are ours to carry out and fulfill, but it is crucial that we enact our parts with cheerful hearts. In this way, Jesus Christ is glorified through the way we live our lives, because of the posture of our hearts.
Jesus is able to magnify the little things we do for him when we say, “Yes Jesus!” with happy hearts. Your children are watching. Let Christ be magnified through you Mama.
Help me to live life in sold-out surrender to your sure-small whispers, each day. I want to obey. Forgive me of my rogue ways. Help me to start anew. I dedicate my whole life to you. In Jesus’ sacred name, amen.
Steps of Faith:
In what small way can you say, “Yes Jesus!” with a cheerful heart, today?