Introduction of parents and of Tanner (illustration of vitamins)
Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the Law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (Luke 2:22)
The parent-child commitment service is a way to connect parents with the magnificent responsibility and opportunity of leading their children spiritually.
When parents present their children to God, even as Mary and Joseph did, they are acknowledging two simple facts:
1. First, this new baby is God’s creation and therefore God’s possession.
2. Second, as stewards of God’s possession, parents have the responsibility to intentionally raise the child in a way that is pleasing to God.
If I was to tell you that I knew of a way that we could decrease suicide, rape, dropouts, and people in prison, you would want me to tell everyone, in fact, you would probably join me in telling everyone. Well, that is what I am telling you today, that we have a man-sized problem. For proof that America is suffering from a man problem, all you have to do is look at the stats.
• 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes, • 90% of all runaways grew up in fatherless homes,
• 85% of all children who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes, • 80% of rapists were raised in fatherless homes,
• 71% of high school dropouts are from fatherless homes, and
• 85% of all youth sitting in prisons grew up in fatherless homes.
• You see we have men around, but they are not really around. (Wright, 2008)
Pastor: (To Father), do you promise to be a leader, provider, and protector for your family?
Father: I will
Now for you (mother), I do not have a list of heart-breaking stats because in our society mothers have so often been willing to stand in the Gap. However, we see that you have just as important calling as the father. You all have equal but different roles. In Proverbs 31 we get a great example of what it looks like to be a mature woman of God. In this passage we see a woman is a helper, that she draws near with strength. We also see an encourager, a woman that not only delivers life, but also helps sustain it. And finally we see that a woman is a nurturer. A woman develops others, everyone around her is better off, just by knowing her.
Pastor: Therefore, (mother) do you promise to be a helpmate, encourage, and nurture your family?
Mother: I will
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 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. 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)
Pastor: (To both Parents) Will you choose this day to live with the commands of God on your own hearts?
Parents: We will
Pastor: Do you accept responsibility as your child’s primary faith influencer to impress the truth and love of God on (him/her) as you live life together? Parents: We will
Pastor: Will you love this child with the unconditional love of Christ? Parents: We will
Pastor: Will you pray for (him/her) to know Jesus Christ as (him/her) Lord, Savior, and Treasure?
Parents: We will
Pastor: (To congregation) Will you partner with these parents by praying for them as they lead their children spiritually?
Congregation: We will
Pastor: Will you partner with these parents by teaching their children at church and modeling a Christlike lifestyle in support of what the parents are teaching and modeling?
Congregation: We will
Prayer: Almighty God we pray for your sovereign grace in Christ Jesus; praying that the Lord will guide and protect this child; that (he/she) will grow daily in the love and knowledge of Christ; that (he/she) will serve God all (his/her) days and
live for His Glory; that (his/her) parents will show wisdom, discernment, and diligence as they seek to rear (him/her) in the nurture and admiration of the Lord; that (he/she) will live so as to be credit to (his/her) family and church.
*For Recommendations for books for children go to our previous post here.