God answered Hannah’s cries from a longing heart by giving her a son named Samuel. Hannah’s promise to dedicate Samuel to the Lord meant that he would grow up in the temple. Imagine Hannah’s emotions when she took her three-year-old son and left him to live in the temple. She said,
“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 1:27-28 (NIV)
So, here’s the question: Have you truly dedicated your children to the Lord? Have you acknowledged that your children are a great gift from God? Have you given them to the Lord—praying that they will demonstrate God’s worth in their whole being for their entire life? Our commitment is not without emotion. As their daughter was preparing to go on a short-term mission trip, Sarah’s parents told me, “When she was a baby, we dedicated her to the Lord and told him to use her in any way he wanted. Now we have to keep that promise.” Today Sarah and her husband serve as “undercover” global workers on the other side of the world.
It’s one thing to have a special baby dedication followed by a reception with family and friends, but, parents, are you willing to follow through on your commitment? It’s one thing to make a promise; it’s another thing to keep it.
- Thank God for your children (name each of them). Acknowledge that they are a gift from him, and you desire that he use them for his purposes.
- Ask God to give you the strength to follow through on your commitment to dedication.
Father, we want our children to live for you. Help us not restrict their service by being overly protective or possessive. Don’t let us hinder our children from following hard after you. Remind us that as much as we love them, you love them even more. Use them for Christ’s sake. Amen.
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