Our oldest, Hannah, has recently asked us if she could get baptized. We were very excited to hear that she wanted to take this important step in her walk with the Lord! Before we said she could do it we wanted to sit down and make sure she fully understood what she was doing. We wanted to make sure that she wasn’t just doing it because several of her friends were, but because she felt like the Lord was leading her to take this step. We want her to be able to remember this milestone and be able to understand its significance.
As parents, it is our job to explain the commands that Jesus gives us in the Bible. Children can ask Jesus to come in their hearts at a very young age. When they do, it is a blessing for them to be able to walk with Jesus for most of their lives. Instead of having our own children get baptized right after they asked Jesus into their hearts, we have decided to wait until they start asking to be baptized. When the child starts asking to be baptized that is a good indication that they might be ready to take this next step.
As a parent it is important that you understand that:
- Baptism is not salvation. Salvation takes place in your heart before you are water baptized. The only way to become saved or born again is to repent of your sins and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. At that point the Holy Spirit comes into your heart.
- Jesus was baptized as an example to us, God commanded the disciples to baptize, and Acts is full of the example of baptism. After we are saved, baptism is an act of obedience to God.
- Water baptism is a public testimony – a way to publicly show others what has been done privately in your own heart. In some traditions it is called a sacrament, or sacred symbol.
Nate and I put together a Bible lesson that you can go through with your child to see if they are ready to take this next step in their walk with God. Please pray before you share these truths with your child, and pray together with him or her afterwards. Feel free to teach your child whatever the Lord puts on your heart according to Scriptures and your knowledge of your child’s learning capacity.
The last page of the lesson has questions for you to go over with your child. Ask your child questions to ensure that he or she understands what it means. In doing this, the baptism will truly be a meaningful, spiritual event! (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 and Ephesians 6:4) Once you have studied this with your child, you will be able to decide if they are ready to get baptized. If you do not feel they are ready, that is completely okay. Remember that they are not saved by baptism. Water baptism only shows to others what has already happened in their hearts. If you do feel like they are ready, ask your Pastor what you need to do to get your child baptized.
If you as an adult, have never been baptized, it is never too late. We are never too old to follow God’s commands! If this is a step you have never taken in your walk with the Lord, take time now to pray and see if God is leading you to make this public declaration of your faith.