Is my child ready for baptism? Here is what to do when your child asks to be baptized plus an account of our daughter Brittlynn’s baptism!
As a parent, there is no greater pride than the moment my children ask to put on Christ in baptism.
It is the ultimate parenting goal.
My top priority as a parent is to raise my children to love Jesus and spend eternity with Him.
God’s Word clearly states that baptism is an essential component of salvation.
While baptism itself is simple, parenting a child who is deciding if they are ready to become a Christian through the step of baptism can be tricky. Answering the question, Is my child ready for baptism? requires some reflection!
Here is how WE have navigated these waters with our children.
The Importance of Worship Service with Baptism
Baptism is something that is talked about frequently in our home.
Each Sunday the invitation is offered to the congregation during worship service.
As children get older and start paying more attention to the lessons they will start asking questions about worship service.
Seeing others come forward and put on Christ in baptism is a HUGE example to children as well.
These moments provide huge opportunities to discuss baptism, Christianity, faith, God’s Word, and all other religious questions they may have.
It is so crucial to BE IN CHURCH.
It is hard to get the kids to services. But it is SO important.
It’s easy to think they aren’t paying attention. But they are.
Their little ears are hearing and their little minds are digesting.
We always keep an open dialogue with our children and often spend the car ride home from services to share our thoughts on the lessons as well as asking them questions and answering the questions they may have.
I am also a big believer in bedtime serving as a wonderful opportunity to connect deeper with my children and a great chance for open discussion in a more intimate setting that may be more comfortable for them.
Having children at services not only gives them a chance to learn about God and His Word and plan for their lives but also provides so many amazing people to pour into them and show them Christ’s love as well.
My children have been blessed with incredible Sunday School teachers, fellow children being raised in Christian homes, and other members who they learn from and lean on and are constantly being poured into.
Is My Child Ready for Baptism? When A Child Asks About Being Baptized
Children will start asking about baptism out of curiosity and a desire to understand what it means and why it’s important.
The first step in salvation is to hear the Word of God and that is often done in Bible Class, worship service and at home during family Bible study time.
When a child starts asking about baptism it is the time for teaching.
Through that teaching, they will gain a better understanding which will lead to the next step of salvation in believing.
When our oldest child first asked about baptism my husband asked other Christians for advice and was given a great book to help in studying with our children.
At bedtime, he would work through that book with the child who had asked to learn more about baptism.
This was a time where they worked through God’s Word together and talked about any questions that they may have had.
Update: Our third child is currently asking about Baptism and I’ve had many friends who have recommended this book (it’s called Am I Ready to Be Baptized as well but this version is geared more towards the kids themselves) so I bought a copy and am currently having her read it and working through it with her.
Is My Child Ready for Baptism? Teaching without Pressure
The decision to be baptized is THE most important decision we’ll ever make in our lives.
It’s crucial that it is a PERSONAL decision.
We never, ever want our children to look back and feel like they were pressured in any way to be baptized.
We let them lead the way – fully.
If they ask questions, we answer them.
We don’t bring it up to them or ever even ask them if they want to be baptized.
We want it to be fully their decision, their choice, and the step that they initiate.
It is our job as parents to teach and guide and lead as an example.
Once our children say they are ready for baptism we still continue to let them lead the way.
We don’t call all of our family to come to watch, we let the child decide if they would like to invite anyone.
We don’t say anything to others in advance, we let them decide who they want to tell (if anyone at all!).
We don’t even talk much about it with the child, when they mention it we let them know how proud we are but also we continually remind them that this is THEIR CHOICE.
How Old Should a Child Be to be Baptized?
The Bible does not specify what the exact age of accountability is.
There is no “right age” to be baptized.
I think this is the toughest part as a parent when it comes to baptizing our children.
We worry they are too young to “get it.”
But yall. BAPTISM IS NOT COMPLICATED.
God’s plan for salvation is SIMPLE.
Kids don’t have to be geniuses to understand the steps.
They don’t have to be a certain age to understand the importance.
Even at a young age, they can understand God loves them, Jesus is God’s Son and that He died for them.
As adults we let the age of our children worry us.
I personally believe it’s a tool Satan uses to try to dissuade people from joining the body of Christ!
Don’t worry about others thinking your child is too young…and in the reverse also do not worry if your child is older and hasn’t yet decided to be baptized.
Both ends of that spectrum can lead parents to put pressure on their children.
Either pressuring their child to wait until they are older OR pressuring their child to hurry to be baptized when they may not be ready.
As a parent we set the stage – we plant the seeds of our children’s walk with Christ.
It’s so important to water those seeds as seeds will die if they don’t have water.
However, it’s also equally important not to overwater the seeds either as they will drown and die from too much watering just as they would die without enough.
Everyone matures at their own rate.
Pray. Have your kids in worship. Study God’s Word as a family. Teach them. Lead by example. Be available for questions. And give them space to also decide the path for themselves too.
And when they do? Trust them that they are ready.
It’s THEIR CHOICE and when they are ready to be baptized don’t hesitate.
We aren’t promised tomorrow and knowing they are spending eternity with the Lord in Heaven is HUGE!
Peer Pressure and Baptism
When it comes to our children being baptized parents tend to worry about two things: age and peers.
Is my child saying they want to be baptized just because their older sibling or friend has been baptized?
Often churches will see many kids getting baptized around the same time period.
This is wonderful!
Our peers can be a huge blessing when leading by example when it comes to their Christian walk and letting their light shine for Jesus!
Just like I mentioned above…a child asking about baptism is a wonderful opportunity and when they see their friends or siblings take that huge step?
It’s a big opening for a chance to talk further and study together.
My advice is to always bring it back to God’s Word.
Your friend got baptized and you want to too? Awesome! Let’s study.
Just like I mentioned with the age and how it can deter parents from believing their child is ready, do not let what others are doing cause you to be concerned if your child is ready.
You know your child best. You know their heart.
You can tell if they are making a choice out of conviction or out of pressure.
Trust God. Trust His process. Trust your child!
It is a gift that older siblings can be such a great example to younger ones!
Is My Child Ready for Baptism?
Obviously I don’t know your child and can’t tell you if they are ready.
Even as a parent of my own children I have no way to know their true heart.
I can’t KNOW if they FULLY understand the depths of Christ’s love for them.
I can’t know if they WILL live a life for Jesus.
The beautiful thing is we don’t have to know these things.
We don’t need to know if our child really understands Biblical principles or has scripture verses memorized or can list every book in the Bible or the difference between the old testament and the new testament.
Does your child understand that Jesus died on the cross so that their sins can be forgiven?
Hear the Word of God.
Believe that Christ is God’s son.
Believe that He lived a perfect life only to then die for those who cannot ever earn it.
Repent from their sins.
Confess that Jesus is the Son of God.
If the answer to all these things is YES then your child is ready to obey the Gospel and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins.
Baptism is the beginning of a new life in Christ.
It is a time where we receive the holy spirit.
A time where we enter Christ’s church and we spend the rest of our lives learning and growing.
Baptism is not just about salvation.
It is also a choice to live on a path of righteousness.
We will never be perfect. We aren’t Jesus!
But we should strive each day to do our best to be like Him.
As parents, our job isn’t done when our children are baptized.
In many ways, it’s just beginning!
We must continue to lead by that example. Continue to teach. Continue to guide. Continue to be there for our children.
Satan does not like it when we devote our lives to Christ.
He will fight harder to try to pull us away.
We must guard our children and help them see those temptations and resist them as they come!
I have never been more proud as a mother than when my children have made the HUGE step in their lives to be baptized and be washed anew in Jesus!
What a blessing to know the angels rejoice for them and that we will all be together in Heaven!
Our newest sister in Christ – our daughter Britt!
Is My Child Ready for Baptism? Britt’s Baptism
Britt started asking about baptism around her 8th birthday in 2019.
We pulled out the baptism study book we used with Kye and Zach began working through it with her in the evenings at bedtime.
Update: Our third child is currently asking about baptism and many of our friends have also used this book with their children so we’ve bought a copy to go through with her as well!
She would often bring up baptism and go through the steps of salvation with us.
She’d ask questions, want to have a better understanding.
We always kept the conversation light and simple with her.
We for sure struggled a bit with her age – eight is YOUNG.
But Britt is also mature in many ways and she “got it.”
While I was very nervous about making sure Kye did not feel any pressure, it was much different with Britt.
She knew. And when she KNEW she really knew and didn’t hesitate.
She didn’t overthink it or waiver in any way.
On Wednesday evening, February 5th, 2020, she came down from Bible Study at our church to meet me and said, with a big smile, “I’m ready to be baptized!”
She wanted to tell our preacher right away and we told her she could go ahead and do it right then if she was ready but she said she wanted to wait for Sunday morning.
During those days between neither Zach or I brought it up to her, as again we don’t want to pressure, but she brought it up constantly!
She was SO EXCITED.
Not nervous. No doubts. Just EAGER and READY!
We told her since she was so sure that if she wanted to invite anyone it was totally up to her.
She said she wanted to invite G-Mama and Big Papa and that was all because having ALL the family would be too much (so funny…Zach’s family IS HUGE haha!)
When the invitation song started on Sunday, February 9th, she said she wanted all of us to go up with her.
And she wanted to hold my hand walking up too.
(SUCH a special picture that was captured when we went down front as a family!)
We went to the front of our church and went up to the altar in front of the church with her where she made her confession that Jesus is God’s Son and that he died for our sins and was risen after death.
Spear did NOT wanna leave Big Papa so he didn’t come up with us which I hate but his time will come 😉
It was also SO precious because that morning before church Kye asked her if she wanted HIM to be the one to baptize her and that he’d love to do it and it’d make him so happy.
Of course, that is an honor Daddy wanted to have and also it’d be a little tough for Kye to get Britt fully emersed 😉
But it would not surprise me one bit if one of the younger kids asked Kye to baptize them when the time comes!
It was so special getting to help Britt get ready.
I myself was baptized at bible camp in a swimming pool so I didn’t have the church experience and didn’t know how the little outfit went on so it took me some time ha!
Zach got choked up in the moment which makes it all that more special and it was cute too because people in the audience said they couldn’t see her b/c she is so little!
It was adorable that Zach held her up at the end 🙂
A video should auto-play in this post showing my view of the experience, the church view, as well as the prayer, said after her public confession!
Right after her smile was SO HUGE and I asked how she felt and she simply said “SO CLEAN.”
Is My Child Ready For Baptism? Final Thoughts
I mean it when I say NOTHING feels better as a parent.
Just this relief in my heart of KNOWING my oldest daughter will BE in Heaven for eternity is so amazing.
We are so, so proud of Brittlynn!
It was so special to have Big Papa and G-Mama there and we are so thankful for our incredible church family who love our children and pour into them!