Children are a gift from God. Psalm 127:3 proclaims that "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him." As believers we are called to recognize that children belong first and foremost to God. God in his goodness gives children as gifts to parents. They not only have the awesome responsibility of caring for this gift, but also the wonderful privilege of enjoying the gift. Because children belong to God and are given by grace as gifts to parents, it is only proper and appropriate that children be dedicated back to God.
We are told in 1 Samuel 1 that Hannah presented her son Samuel to the Lord. In Luke 2:22 we read that Mary and Joseph brought their baby Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem in order to present him before the Lord. In the same way, Matt and Amy today bring their sons, Michael and Amsalu, presenting first themselves and then their children before the Lord our God.
Matt and Amy, I call your attention to the commands of God recorded in Holy Scripture.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 tells us: "Hear O Israel: The Lord our God 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 upon your hearts. Impress them on their 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."
Ephesians 6:4 says: "Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." God's instructions are plain.
Matt and Amy, love God with every ounce and fiber of your energy and teach Michael and Amsalu to do the same. As you love God, one another, and all others, you will model before Michael and Amsalu a wonderful love for God that they will want for themselves.
Matt and Amy, by coming forward before God and his people, do you hereby declare your desire to dedicate yourselves and your daughters, Michael and Amsalu , to the Lord? If so, please respond by saying "we do."
Having come freely, I ask now that you enter into the following commitment in the presence of God and his people. So that Michael and Amsalu may walk in the abundant life that Christ offers, do you Matt and Amy vow by God's help and in partnership with the church, to provide Michael and Amsalu a Christian home of love and peace, to raise them in the truth of our Lord's instruction and discipline, and to encourage them to one day trust Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord?
Modeling this kind of love cannot be done alone. It requires the help of others. For this reason, Matt and Amy will call upon the help of grandparents (and other family members). I now direct my question to you. By coming forward before God and his people, do you hereby declare your desire to help Matt and Amy fulfill the vow they have just made by living before Michael and Amsalu lives of Christian service and witness? If so, please respond by saying "we do."
Finally, I ask that the church make a vow as well. Parents have the first responsibility, but parents need the help and support of the Christian community. So I direct my questions now to the church. I ask now that you make the following commitment to those who stand before you: So that Michael and Amsalu may walk in the abundant life that Christ offers, do you vow by God's help, to be faithful in your calling as members of the body of Christ, to help Matt and Amy be faithful to God, and to help teach and train Michael and Amsalu in the ways of the Lord so that they might one day trust Him as Savior and Lord? If you accept this responsibility, please respond by saying "we do."