Baby Dedication for Hamm Family On 12/18/22
Recently, I was reading through the book of Judges and I read the story about Sampson’s parents. As I read it there were a few things about it that caught my attention that I would like to share with you this morning. We read of this story in Judges 12:1-25. We are told in verse 3 that the angel of the LORD came to Samson’s mother and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.”
The angel of the LORD then gives Sampson’s mother specific instructions concerning what she is to do and how this child was to be raised. If she lived today she may have already have read many books on parenting but what the angel of the LORD is about to say to her is to be believed and obeyed beyond all other things. We read in verses 4-5, “Therefore, be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat no unclean thing, for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”
After this encounter she immediately goes to her husband and tells him what she had just witnessed. She tells him, “A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. I did not ask him where he was from, and he did not tell me his name…”. (6). She continues to speak to her husband about what the angel of the LORD had said to her about the child (7).
I really like Manoah’s response to this news. He prays. He prays and says, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.” (v.8)
I wonder, if you two have prayed a prayer like this one since you found out that you were going to have this beautiful child? Maybe your prayer sounded something like, “Lord, what are we to do with this child who will be born to us? How do we best raise this child in a way that honors you? How do we best care for this child and experience the blessing of God upon her life? How do we best pass on the faith to this child? How do we honor you as parents who have been entrusted with this precious child from your own hand?”
God graciously answers Manoah’s prayer and the angel of the LORD comes back to meet with them a second time. Again, I like what Manoah says to the angel of the LORD, “Now when your words come true, what is to be the child’s manner of life, and what is his mission?” (12)
Manoah's words in Judges 12:8 &12 emphasize three things. First, Sampson’s parents are humble and ask for the LORD to teach them both how they are to raise the child. They say, “teach us what we are to do with the child…”.
As parents, you will honor the LORD by being humble and asking the LORD how to raise your daughter. Humble yourselves often in prayer and by going to the Word of God each day to fulfill this special calling that you have. You will honor the LORD as you do this together (teach us what we are to do). Together you both are called, mandated, commissioned, equipped, and gifted to raise this child. Aaron, you have certain strengths in parenting. Victoria, you have certain strengths in parenting. Together you will bless Lindy with many blessings as you parent her together according the Scriptures.
Secondly, we see in Judges 12:12 that Sampson’s parents humble themselves and ask the LORD to show them the culture, the paideia, that they are to raise the child in. They ask, “What is the child’s manner of life to be?” Christian parents are to pass on the culture of the Christian faith and the Church, which seeks to cultivate faith, piety, virtue and wisdom, as their kids grow in the grace of Christ.
As parents you will naturally want to pass on to your daughter your family traditions, but do not neglect to pass on the faith above all else. May you often humble yourselves as you go to the Word of God and pray, “What is the manner of life that I should pass on to this child?”
Thirdly, seek to cultivate the mission that Lindy has ahead of her. Let me give you six ways that we teach that this can be done through consistent practice in the home.
As parents train Lindy with the long term goal in mind. She is to one day be a disciple who can makes other disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).
Train Lindy by training her in the faith and in godliness (1 Timothy 4:7-8).
Train Lindy to be on mission by being a family that is a love and truth center (Colossians 2:6-8; John 13:34-35).
Train Lindy to be able to distribute the grace of God by serving one another (1 Peter 4:10).
Train Lindy to be part of a family who is on mission (Matthew 28:19-20).
Train Lindy to receive the gospel by teaching the consequences of sin and her need for Jesus Christ and His grace (Luke 6:46-49).
Now, having said these things let me also share with you Deuteronomy 6:4-9 which says,
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
These verses give us four things to consider as we are dedicating our children to the LORD.
Parents have a responsibility to be faithful to the LORD.
Parents have a responsibility is to be examples to their children in the LORD.
Parents have a responsibility to train up our children in the LORD.
Parents have a responsibility to keep the LORD always before the eyes of our children.
Parents have a responsibility to love and be faithful to the LORD.
Deuteronomy 6:5-6 says, “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.”
It is the first responsibility of parents to love the LORD with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. As parents we must have a personal relationship with Christ and cultivate that relationship through studying the Word of God, praying, fasting, worshiping, watchfulness, confession and repentance, serving others, and practicing the disciplines of the faith.
It is a parents responsibility is to be examples for the LORD.
A parent is to set a godly example as they live out their faith. A parent’s faith must be genuine and sincere. It must set an example in prayer, reading the Word of God, trusting God, obeying the Word, seeking forgiveness and walking repentantly and humbly before God.
Our kids hear what we say but they also watch how we are living. Is God our first priority (Mt. 6:33)? Is worshiping God something we do consistently and faithfully on Sunday’s together and throughout the rest of the week? Will you be quick to model the gospel to our family? Will we be quick to forgive and not keep a record of wrongs? Will we seek peace and speak the truth in love?
It is a parents responsibility to be trainers of our children for the LORD.
Our passage tells us that we are to...
train them when we sit
train them when we are walking
train them when we lie down
train them with the Word of God in their hands
train them with the Word of God before their eyes
train them with the Word of God around the home
This passage encourage a parent to be training our children all the time. Do you have a plan to do this? Will you commit to make this a priority as parents and partner with the people of this congregation in this endeavor?
It is a parents responsibility to keep the LORD before our children’s eyes.
Our families are our first mission that we engage in. If we loose our family, we will have sorrow. Save yourselves from this sorrow and do all you can to be the example you should be and train your children. The final results are in the LORD’s hands, but we should do everything possible to point our children to the LORD.
Acknowledgment of the Parents
Today Aaron and Victoria have come acknowledging and professing their dependence upon the LORD to raise in a their daughter Lindy in a godly way.
Minister: Aaron and Victoria, do you come professing Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your lives?
Parents: We do
Minister: And do you come to dedicate yourselves to biblical instruction, discipline, and love of this child?
Parents: We do
Minister: And do you come to dedicate Lindy into the ultimate control and will of God through the LORD Jesus Christ.
Parents: We do
Minister Turns To Face The Church
Do you, Community Church, agree to support these parents by your example and through acts of service; and do you agree to reinforce the biblical instruction, discipline, and love of this child under the supreme rule of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Congregation: We do
Father, we bring this child to You with all our heart, soul, and might. We want to raise this child to love You and serve You. Please help us to be the congregation and parents that will set the right example for this child, and that this child might love and serve You throughout Ariel’s life. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.