Have you ever heard of the expression “it takes a village to raise a child”? Well, my version of this expression is “It should take a church to raise a child!” Parents need family and friends, Sunday school teachers, educators, and pastors to come alongside them and help them train up their child. Here at FBCMF, we desire to celebrate families and their commitment to be godly, biblically grounded, dedicated parents!
The word dedicate means to be committed to a task or purpose. Truly, parenting is a vigorous task that serves a valiant purpose; parenting is a high calling! One way we celebrate families is through a Parent/Child Dedication service. During this service, we will ask the parents and their child to stand before the church, and we will do several things – celebrate their family, read a life verse each parent has chosen for their child, engage in a time of commitment involving both the parents and the church, and then close with a prayer of blessing from the Lord.
Truly, being a parent is a high calling, and God addresses this high calling in many places in Scripture, one of them being the Shema found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.
Meditate on this passage a moment. Notice what parenting is an integrated approach taking place all through a child’s day, and notice what parenting is not a 3-step quick fix and then you are finished. Appropriately, parenting begins with a parent’s personal relationship with the Lord. And springing from this relationship, then the parents are able to effectively parent well by “impressing” upon their children the commandments of the Lord.
Although parents are given the primary responsibility to train up their children in the ways of the Lord, the church is also there to partner with them, offering support and guidance to help both the parents and their children mature in their faith – help them to find life in Jesus Christ by following Him. The church and the home are two of the greatest influences in the lives of children, and when we come together, we can make a huge impact in developing a biblical worldview for each and every child!
Parenting is truly a high calling!