Baptism is going public with your faith and you get to announce something powerful with a profound action. A noticeable increase in determination to obey parents. A child—perhaps somewhere between 5 and 15 years of age—says to you, “I want to be baptized!” How are we supposed to respond? Does your child share the attitude of David, who wrote, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways; I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (Psa. Some children find it easier to submit to their parents than other children just by virtue of their personality. 9:25-26)? I was baptized as a young child but don’t remember anything I said or was thinking. 4:20; Col. 1:13; Acts 28:23, 31). Rom. Does your child know that Christ is the Lord and King of His kingdom (1 Cor. Parents are to instill this virtue into their children long before their children become old enough to understand this divine imperative. Did this adult sin? Lately I have had several baptism "classes" (really, conversations, since there are usually only one or two couples there at a time) at St. Richard's Church. Does your child understand that the kingdom is the realm of the saved (Col. 1:13)? As Christ said, sometimes a child has to go against a parent in order to do what is right. No matter what, the first reaction should not be one of surprise. A child—perhaps somewhere between 5 and 15 years of age—says to you, “I want to be baptized!” How are we supposed to respond? 119:15-16)? If one is not old enough to appreciate (on at least a basic level) the gravity of sin, then he/she is not old enough to obey the gospel (the remedy of sin). Why do you think it’s important to be baptized?” Trevan wasn’t sure. A growing love for Jesus and a working understanding of His blood & atoning sacrifice. At age 12 and coming from a mixed unchurched / denominational background, my concept of baptism and the subsequent ongoing conversion process was severely lacking. “To be obedient?” “Right!” said Sister Kemp. But is your child now old enough to understand the significance of this Biblical command? Acts 2:39). I've accepted Christ many years ago, and I've gotten to where I feel the need to be baptized and show it. We know that you’ve already given some serious thought to your parenting goals, styles, and what you’d like for your child’s future. To ensure your child is experiencing a true conversion, he/she should feel the weight of sin and come to terms with God’s wrath toward sin. But eventually, you should notice your child trying to understand the truth of the Bible apart from your own prodding. Yes, most definitely. She held up a picture of Jesus. It is likely that you will convince your child that there is no need to be baptized yet. Did that toddler sin? Does your child understand why Jesus needed to make propitiation for our sins (Heb. If a child is expressing a desire to be baptized then this is a sign that we have been doing our job to create an environment whereby our child is encouraged to obey the Lord. Hello, I am 16 years old and I have been going to church on my own for awhile. 2:10). When you’re ready to begin, walk into the water first and have the person being baptized follow you. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise)” (Eph. Ask your child questions related to what we have discussed. While you see yourself stuck at the moment, you won't be 14 forever. 2 Thess. 5. The adult is culpable; the toddler is not. In order to have a "good conscience" (I Peter 3:21), I was baptized (again) a few weeks ago (first time was 1997). Protestant Faiths. It involves more than just a tender little heart who tells mom he wants to “get baptized,” like others are doing. The thing is, my parents are atheists. Make every effort you can, learn as much as you can. Tell your child that God does not send any young person to hell or expect him or her to be baptized until he or she is able to understand more fully the answers to some of the questions that you have discussed. Kids see their friends get baptized, and ask why they do that. But this is simply my opinion. To be charged with sin by God (cf. King. Does your child understand that only the substitutionary death of a sinless God-man could permanently atone for sin (Heb. Is your child dead enough to be buried? For example, Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. Was this the only qualification on the Day of Pentecost? The Rev. Many years later, I see God’s plan for baptism laced throughout the Bible, specifically in the Gospels and the book of Acts. That seems like a good way to open up the discussion, and it does cut to the chase about why we're meeting in the first place. In contrast, Christianity is about a present kingdom (cf. 2. Answer: The question of whether a person who has sinned should be baptized again is a fairly common one. Perhaps there is some middle ground to this sensitive question. Of course, this is just as much directed to parents as it is to children. Someone must understand at least something about that kingdom before being baptized. By signing up, you'll get thousands of step-by-step solutions to your homework questions. You’ll Get Insight into What You Want for Your Child. Family Newsletter You will receive blog posts and updates on the newest family resources. So, you might still be wondering—why should I get baptized? If the answer is “I don’t know”, “because all my friends are”, “because I want to take communion” or “because my teacher said to” then the child is probably not making this decision with proper motives. Reading Time: 7 minutes Many Christian parents of young children wrestle with how to answer this question. 25:41-46; Heb. Does your child now feel genuine affection for Jesus because of what He has done for us because of our sin? 9:23)? 16:18-19)? One of the things I always do as we get started is ask the parents: "why do you want to have your baby baptized?" Does your child know that the kingdom manifests itself as the one and only church that Jesus built (Matt. Your child will receive the Baptismal grace and freed from original sin. Is your child ready to be crucified with Christ, taking on His identity (Gal. All that is required for an infant to be baptized is that there be “a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion” (868). If you want to talk with someone in person, please feel free to call: 917-439-2305. Maybe you’re a “Laura.” You’re a Christian who has decided not to be baptized. The parent or church leader is so careful not to baptize a child who isn’t ready that little attention is given to the child’s tender, sensitive heart. 6:2; Psa. On the other hand, the situation is made worse by overreacting to the first extreme. My doubt was very real concerning my baptism. One main problem with this extreme is that we risk producing an adult that can never be sure whether he/she underwent a true biblical baptism, and thus may struggle later with having a “pure conscience” (1 Pet. Having a child baptized is a very spiritual journey that takes place at the beginning of a child's life. Is your child ready to assume citizenship of the kingdom, submitting to King Jesus in everything? On the other hand, we do not want to squelch the genuine desire of a mature child longing for Christ. When you explain infant baptism in the context of original sin and sacramental baptism—of being born into a state of original sin and being born again into a state of grace—you make a very powerful argument on behalf of the Church’s teachings in this area. Get weekly blog posts, updates on new resources, and tips for your children’s ministry. An excellent examination of the question. You must be old enough to seek forgiveness. 51:4). At the age of nine, however, my parents converted to Pentecostalism. Baptism is a commitment. 4:8), there is first a certain level of maturity or accountability one must reach. If you can answer yes to all three, then it might be time to celebrate the obedience of baptism with your local church. Yet, before we go any further, we should note that our primary concern is not about baptism per se; our concern is about conversion (which is a deeper and more meaningful concept). It is undoubtedly His prerogative to extend a window of opportunity for a child to obey the gospel. Baptism is a burial (Rom. But during the baptism process, you’ll often have the chance to explore these issues on a much deeper level. Q: I am a Catholic who was married in a Hindu ceremony, and now we have a baby girl. A heightened desire to know the truth of Scripture. I looked into my local Catholic church but you have to be a member and have registered your baby to be baptized when you are 6 months pregnant. The children of Christian parents should grow up being acquainted with Bible stories and teachings (2 Tim. Do not tell your child all the answers at this moment. In the Old Testament, God considered a person able to discern right from wrong at 20 years old. The Lord says to children, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. That seems like a good way to open up the discussion, and it does cut to the chase about why we're meeting in the first place. I suspect that the problem is more that your parents don't truly believe that this is important to you. Consider a toddler who does something wrong (e.g., take a toy from a sibling, disobey the will of a parent, etc.). In fact, this is the main difference between John’s baptism and the baptism of the New Covenant. 5. The ability to account for one’s actions necessitates a degree of mental capacity to understand what one is doing. William J. I can say that I was baptized and converted, and I understood the commitment I was making. Is it apparent to you as a parent that your child’s interest has piqued about spiritual matters? They often do what they are told, believe what they are taught, and say what they are told to say. Does your child understand why the blood of Jesus was necessary (Heb. Answer all the questions the priest asks you, such as whether you plan to raise the child in the church and live as a godly example before your child. Yet, I find comfort in the fact that God is a loving Father, and is longsuffering towards His children (Jas. [Opinions needed] If baptized as a child, should I still seek baptism as an adult? Have you helped your child “count the cost” of becoming a disciple of Jesus (Luke 14:25-33)? To sin is to offend God (Gen. 39:9; Lev. Those on the day of Pentecost were “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37). The peace of mind has displaced all doubt. 1 Cor. Your Answer. In fact, when inspired preachers taught the gospel to lost people, they preached the “kingdom” to people (Acts 8:12; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31). This implication is found throughout Scripture. “The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth. Does your child know what it means to love Jesus? And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” We are forgiven for our sins through repentance, and this cleansing is best illustrated through the symbolism of baptism. We should be profoundly grateful that our children have been paying attention and desire to respond to what they have been learning in a positive manner. Everybody's is different, but hey, it makes the world go round. My wife and I were both born and raised in the Catholic faith. My husband and I were both raised Catholic but we don't go to church anymore. But has that love grown into something meaningful? How does your child respond when he/she disagrees with your decision? On the Day of Pentecost, Peter’s sermon was an invitation to the kingdom of God. 2:12-16). For those who were baptized as children, being baptized after your decision to follow Jesus is a way of marking your decision personally. So that is not an option. How to solve: Why do babies get baptized? 6:1-2). 3. In my experience, most children who come to me asking to be baptized still do not have an adequate understanding of sin. God takes one’s knowledge and capacity to understand into account (Luke 12:47-48). An answer I’ve heard frequently is because they love Jesus. Thus, every child in a Christian home knows they are supposed to love Jesus. Many Christian parents of young children wrestle with how to answer this question. The fundamental point is not whether a child is ready to be baptized, but is she/he ready to begin a new life? In other words, Jesus expects all people who have the ability to grasp what He says to obey His words. Does your child understand how serious it is to sin against an infinitely holy and just God? A child who cannot truly understand this commitment is not ready. When we’re baptized, we make covenants, or promises, with Heavenly Father.” Does your child confess a lie—before being caught—for no other reason than a hurting conscience before God? A basic, rudimentary concept of the kingdom of Christ. First, it is important that we understand what baptism is. … because Jesus was baptized and wants us to baptize others. I know a cookie-cutter answer will not satisfy every situation, but I still want to provide as clear of an answer as I can. On the one hand, it would be a mistake to go ahead and baptize the child without asking some serious questions. Children, by their innocent nature, want to please you. Now, consider an accountable adult who commits acts that are known to be wrong (as God defines sin in the Scriptures; as wrong is determined by conscience; Rom. With this in mind, here are a couple of takeaways. John’s baptism was preparatory to the coming kingdom (Matt. In Matthew 3:16 , we learn about the time when Jesus Himself was baptized before He started His ministry on earth. First, a child must believe the same things that an adult must believe to be saved. They believe the child should wait until he or she can understand fully what it means to join the church. 3:21). The role of the Holy Spirit, however, is to convict the human heart of sin (John 16:7-15). How does your child react to discipline? As Peter stated in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. We want our children to be baptized but often, especially at church relayed youth camps, emotional pressure is put upon them to be baptized. After we have established a proper understanding of baptism, we can see that there are two extremes to be avoided. How Soon Should Your Child Be Baptized? We wish to baptize her in the parish, but our priest is refusing to do that, since our marriage was not sacramented [sic] in any church. 7 Reasons to Get Your Baby Baptized Your child will officially be a Child of God. And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you except your babies in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So, what is the difference? Do you fully understand that you are commanded to repent and believe (Mark 1:15), and now declare publically that you have repented of your sins? I just didn’t have enough biblical knowledge to understand why at the time. I found myself facing this problem. No matter what, the first reaction should not be one of surprise. These kinds of behaviors demonstrate a sincere desire—independent of any parental influence—to know the truth of God’s word better. Is your child ready to die? You’ll also want to make sure that you as well as the person you’re baptizing are wearing dark, tight-fitting clothing that won’t be revealing when wet. September 10, 2020 9:00 am September 10, 2020. One of the things I always do as we get started is ask the parents: "why do you want to have your baby baptized?" 2:17)? 3:17). 1. It is essential to teach your child Bible stories while they are still young. Or maybe you’re just wondering if you … In my judgment, I do not believe so. 4. 10:4; cf. What must it do to a child when—upon working up the courage to do what he/she thinks is right—an adult brushes the question aside and quickly downplays what the child believes is important? 10:31)? When I sin, I am deciding to do something that I know is contrary to God’s will (1 John 5:17; Jas. 4:17). 6. Perhaps we can never know perfectly when a child is ready. God will find a way to help you. Aside from corrective punishment in the home, does your child feel genuine regret and sadness for sin? 2:20)? If your child says something hurtful to a sibling or friend, does he/she apologize without being told to do so? Is your child asking Bible questions, indicating that he/she has been thinking seriously about spiritual truths? And if the baptized child chooses to join a different religion, so be it that is their choice. 3:15). “Baptism is so important that Jesus was baptized, even though He never sinned. Thank you for your careful consideration of this important decision. 3:2; 4:17). They allow me to go to church, they've bought me a bible, and they know about when I got saved. Do I need to be baptized again?" 15:27-28; Heb. If you have fully understood these biblical facts and accept them as true, then it is my great pleasure to baptize you into the name of the Father, into the name of the Son, and into the name of the Holy Spirit, amen. A solid grasp of the seriousness of sin. Anyone wishing to be baptized must first count the cost of this decision. Some religions do not believe in baptizing infants and very young children. Some parents may think the only important follow-up question is, “Do you love Jesus?” But is this all a child needs to be able to answer? Why baptize your child if you do go to church? Children should be baptized as a child so their soul does not perish in purgatory if they do die. Baptism does not save us or wash away our sins. 6:3-4). Your child doesn’t need to know these big words, but it is essential to have a basic grasp on these concepts before obeying the gospel. Baptism is only the commencement of a converted life – it is only a step in the process of conversion. Although this is true, some kids will not understand the depth of their sin or their need for a Savior but know that they want to love Jesus so they ask to be baptized. Then be baptized. Msgr. I want them to hear clearly from God’s Word, ... I’d like to have you help me in this process, so here are some questions you can answer in the comment sections below. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). 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