Child dedication is a symbolic ceremony undertaken by Christian parents soon after the birth of a child. Some churches perform these ceremonies en masse and have several couples and children participating at the same time. The rite is intended to be a public statement by the parents that they will train their children in the Christian faith and seek to instill that faith in them. The congregation often responds through responsive reading or some other method to affirm that they, as a church family, will also seek to encourage the parents to bring up the child in the faith.
The idea of dedicating a child to the Lord can certainly be found in the Bible. Hannah was a barren wife who promised to dedicate her child to God if He would give her a son (1 Samuel 1:11). Luke 2:22 begins the account of Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the temple after forty days in order to dedicate Him to the Lord.
Child / baby dedication is not one of the two ordinances—baptism and the Lord’s Supper—required of Christians in the New Testament. Christians are baptized and participate in the Lord’s Supper as outward and public signs of what Christ has done. While baby dedication is not an officially instituted ordinance of the church, there does not seem to be any conflict with Scripture as long as parents do not view it as assuring the salvation of the child.
At the dedication of their first born son, the family of Mr. Dominic Chukwukeluba Nworah invited friends and well-wishers to be part of the ceremony. He is an Igbo man from Anambra State and married to an Idoma lady from Benue State. He said he sees marriage as love and that one should not necessarily marry from his place. He pointed out that a lot of people think they should make all the money in the world before getting married. But he is not in support of such notion. He says that money does not mean love. “Marriage is good, it dignifies a man”, he submitted.
He advised men who want to have a feel of many girls before getting married to desist because it is a sinful act. To ladies he advised them to be of good behavior as men are now wiser and go for ladies with good behavior.
Chief Marcus Chukwurah Nworah, the father of Mr. Dominic C. Nworah compared modern marriage to his time and said that men of nowadays are bolder and wiser than men of his time.
An elated Chief Nworah likened marriage to fetching water from different sources. “Marriage is choice, it is like going to fetch water, if one fetches a good one he will drink it like that and if he fetches a bad one he can add alum to make it drinkable”, he argued.
Mrs. Ogbata J. E. is a friend of the Nworahs and she said that the only way to live a good married life is by following Christ. She pointed out that there is a kind of joy that follows marriage.
In comparing marriage now and during her time she said people of this generation are better placed. “New generation have everything in their hand unlike during our time”, she noted.
She advised the young family to continue the way they started. “They started in a good way, they should continue living in the way of the Lord”, she advised.
Another family friend of the Nworahs at the occasion is General Abu Ahmadu Rtd. He spoke about inter-tribal marriage and said it is a unifying factor in a multi-ethnic society like ours. He also talked about how to have a manageable family size as there are hard times in the society. He specifically said four children are good for a middle class family.
He said marriage is a legacy and encouraged young people to go into marriage as soon as they are of age.