What do you think is the right age for a child to be baptized, if they are asking about it?
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Amanda - posted on 10/06/2010
The right age is different for each child. My daughter was in church hearing about what Christ did for her from the time she was a few weeks old. She was in Christian preschool as well & surprised me & my husband when she told us about a month before she turned 5 that she needed Jesus to take her sin away & give her a new clean heart so she could go to heaven when she dies. She prayed to receive Christ & has total faith that he has taken her sin away & she will go to heaven when she dies. She wanted to get baptized but was afraid of having her head under water. She was so determined that she asked to go to swim lessons to get past this fear. After taking the lessons she was baptized at just 5 years old. I personally was not at an age of understanding when I was 5, but I can tell you I believe with all my heart that my child is saved. My advice to you is this. Don't focus on her age. Look at her heart. Look at the evidence in her life. Can she tell you what Christ did for her & that she is trusting in Him? Does she want to get baptized as an act of obedience to Christ & to say openly that she has accepted him? If the answer is yes I would let her decide for herself if she is ready for baptism. God can work in the heart of a very young child. Many times we as adults are the ones who make it complicated. If a child understands they do things that are wrong & is trusting in Jesus to make them fit for heaven, I believe that is enough. God bless your family!
Wendy - posted on 10/14/2010
Let you daughter decide when is right for her. If she can give you the true meaning for baptizing, that means she had good comprehension of what it is and is really ready. I allowed my children to be baptized when they were 7 and 8 because they kept asking me about it and they could tell me what it signified. Age isn't the key, understanding is. Don't hold back your child's spiritual growth because of a number.
Wanda - posted on 10/13/2010
Sounds like you really have some good advice. My daughter at 7 was asking some really deep questions. She wanted to be baptized and persisted. She explained to me what it meant.(our church does not have a baptismal) Because of her persistence 15 people were baptized or redecaded their lives to the Lord. Me included.
Lisa - posted on 10/12/2010
depends on your religious beliefs. as a methodist, we recognize infant baptism, adult, child, when someone becomes a christian. we also recognize sprinkling, pouring and "dunking." my sons were both baptized as infants - i think catholics call this christening. when my older son accepted christ into his life, he was "baptized" again, however, it was really just a (forgot the word) remembrance of his baptism and showing his faith and commitment through a public "baptism" at our church service. i know some don't recognize infant baptism at all. if your daughter has accepted christ into her heart, why not let her show her commitment through baptism?
Jeanette - posted on 10/06/2010
It seems most are saying the age isn't what matters. It's do they understand what it means to be baptized.
Here is my testimony on me. When i was 9, I was baptized only because my mom wanted all of us children baptized for my dad. I was terrified. Later in my early adult life I be came a Christian and then got baptized again. This time I wasn't afraid and I really knew what I was doing and what it meant.
If there is any fear then consider my story. Just make sure your child knows what baptism is all about. God Bless you.
This conversation has been closed to further comments
Carla - posted on 05/24/2013
Amy, the age of accountability, according to the Jewish custom is 13. However, if a child feels strongly about it, I don't see why they CAN'T be baptized at 8 or 3, for that matter. I was baptized at 12, then again at 54 or so. I felt I HAD to do it, since my life had been such a train wreck. I don't think God minds at all.
Since this IS such an old post, I will close it down. Thank you for all your responses.
User - posted on 05/21/2013
She is 8, she can be baptized now. Eight is the age of accountability, where they should know the difference between right and wrong. This might be a good time, when she has questions of what she should do, to ask, "What would Jesus do?"
Abo - posted on 10/13/2010
That's wonderful!!Amen :-) I understand your caution with age though, but try not to discourage her. It would be great if your church had a baptismal class which she could join - learn about God, fundamentals as well as about the Church she will be baptised into.
Keep encouraging and watering her rel'ship with Christ
Marilyn - posted on 10/10/2010
I feel that if your daughter fully understands what she is asking for and what an important decision she is making, she may be ready for baptism. I feel that she may need to discuss this decision first with a minister - through an age appropriate Bible Study or series of Bible studies. If she fully understands what she is asking for, so be it. Praise God!
Merry - posted on 10/10/2010
You know, I never thought about doing it again......thanks for the idea! I guess can't see a reason why not to, I mean my church openly accepts members who were baptized as infants but will baptize them again as adults if they wish to be.
Leah, I guess my main advise is to try to figure out if she believes god exists because he has shown himself to her, orif she believes he exists because she trusts you and you tell her that he exists.
The second example is how most little Christians start out, but I think that until they have a moment of doubt in 'blindly' trusting your word, the belief is not entirely THEIR own belief. I hope I made sense there!
Just make sure she isn't trying to please anyone or to proove herself or something, I hate to say I really craved the praise of my family and church and that might have led to my early baptism.
My gut says it's too young, but that's from my experience only :)
Carla - posted on 10/10/2010
@Laura, I had the similar experience. And, I don't see why you can't be baptized again. God knows your heart, He knows you feel like showing publicly how you feel. I was baptized at 58, because after living my life 'in church' but not for Him, I wanted to tell Him how much I loved Him, and how happy I was that I understood, finally.
Don't let tradition or religion tell you how you should live your life or show God your feelings. If you want to be baptized again, do it!
God bless, honey
Merry - posted on 10/10/2010
My church usually baptizes in 5th grade, I didn't feel ready then because I didn't think I knew enough about it. I was I think 6 th grade almost 7th when I was baptized.
But after my mom died I was 15 and I stopped believing in god. I wAs angry hurt etc and I blamed god. After a month or so I realized my error and asked god to once again live in my heart. I had previously asked him in around the age of 6 but I had no memory of that day.
So here I was a 16 year old who felt like a brand new Christian and all I wanted waste be baptized. I just had the desire to doit, it was like for the first time my faith was of mown choosing. Ihad been just believing and accepting what my parents said as truth before, now I believed it all for myself and I wished I had waited to be baptized.
I was baptized because everyone else was doing it, and even though I felt it wasn't. Time, I did give in earlydueto the peer pressure. At the time wanted to be a 'good christian' and I thought that mentbeing baptized.
Later I regretted it and wished I had waited until the day it was burning inside me to be baptized.
I will tell my kids about this when they get older and try to help them make their faiththeirown before being baptized, but I don't think I ws ready at 12 or so.......
Make certain she has no pressure from anyone to do this, make sure she knows she can still be a good Christian without rushing into baptism.
Idk, that's just my experience.
Lisa - posted on 10/09/2010
I think you should wait until your child really understand the meaning and how important it is to be baptized, because i always here stories on how many times they got baptized because they didnt understand the meaning of it and how important it is, I mean if you want to do it now just make sure she understands the meaning of it.
Susan - posted on 10/08/2010
lol completely agree with the understanding part! I was saved at 9 and knew I needed to join the church in believers baptism. All that week, I felt awkward about being baptized so I told my parents I'd like to wait knowing that if I died I'd be in Jesus' arms. It wasn't until a few years later when I realized it was highly improbable that I would drown being baptized LOL!! I'm glad my parents were easy-going with me. However, my brothers were saved one Sunday and baptized the next. Going under water didn't phase them a bit.
Tiffany - posted on 10/08/2010
This varies a lot, as others have said, depending on the child.
For us, I'd like our Littles to wait until they are 18 (or so), and do it as part of their decision to join the church of their choice in full membership, as an adult.
With my oldest, we waited until he was 13 - an age that many cultures use as a "coming of age" point...
Rena - posted on 10/08/2010
I would talk to your Preacher/Pastor. He talked to my son at age 8 and he came back with an answer that I thought was Great. He said that you never wanted to discourage anyone if they knew what the steps to becoming a Christian were. After speaking to my son, he said that he was ready. He also said that if he wanted to be re-Baptized at a later date that there was nothing wrong with that.
Rebekah - posted on 10/07/2010
As a children's pastor, I would be very ecstatic if an 8 year old girl came to me and said "I want to be baptized", I would say "WOOHOO!!!!". There is not right or wrong age for a child to be baptized. If your daughter is asking to be baptized, ask her why, ask her if she knows what it means... if she can answer those questions, she is more than ready. If Josiah became king at 8 years old, why can't an 8 year old be baptized??? The Holy Spirit will direct your child. If Samuel could hear God's voice at 8 years old, why can't she be baptized??? Maybe God is speaking to your daughter and pressing it on her heart. Baptism is more than just "I'm saved and I want everyone to know it" - no, baptism is much more than that. You are saying I'm dying to myself, by being buried (put in the water) and raising up as a prince/princess in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus' ministry started when He was baptized... maybe God has a call on your daughter's life so great and strong, don't be hindrance to this, allow God to move, He wants her to be baptized, just like He has commanded all of us to do. Take your daughter to your pastor or children's pastor, sit down together and talk this out, I would almost believe your daughter is feeling a pressing on her heart for this and that's why she keeps asking. Children CAN do the same things as any adult when it comes to spiritual matters, you don't have to be a teenager or an adult to be baptized... you never know if she gets baptized, maybe God is wanting to give her the gift of tongues, I know more kids that asked me to get baptized because they just had an urgency on their heart and when they did they came up shouting in tongues because that is when God wanted to pour His Spirit upon them. Pray and ask God for wisdom. Pray and ask God for direction. And then watch and see if God changes your heart about this. I think it's exciting!!!
Carrie - posted on 10/07/2010
I was also baptized at 9 and had no idea what it meant, I do agree that the child needs to be ready and that the parents just think they are doing the right thing. But if the child is asking that young then they have the right to be informed with the right information about what it means to be baptized and then if they decide then do not hold them back. They will grow even more with the Lord.
Rebecca - posted on 10/07/2010
My oldest is 9 and he nor my younger children have been baptized. It is between the Lord and them when this will occur. I was baptized when I was 7 or 8, but I did not understand what it was all about. My dad was a pastor and never led me to the Lord or explained what the baptism meant. I don't want my children to have that experience. I believe before the age of accountability (20?) that a child cannot be lost, but that a child can choose to follow jesus and hopefully seeds will be planted in those early years. As the Bible states, Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Carrie - posted on 10/07/2010
No she is not too young, we were baptized as a family my husband,myself and three children, our youngest was about your daughters age. And besides most Churches have Baptismal classes in which they learn the reason behind baptism, talk to your pastor or minister about it.
Terri - posted on 10/07/2010
It would be HARD to tell her no! I was baptized about that age (my decision) and I do remember it, but I don't think I clearly understood it. I don't believe there is anything wrong with a SECOND baptism, but she needs to be absolutely clearly positively certain that she knows what it means. Most 8 year olds don't have that maturity yet. If you're in doubt, have her sit down and have a serious talk with your pastor. I'm sure he'd be delighted to guide her.
Priscilla - posted on 10/07/2010
I dont know what form of Christianity you are but we do it almost within the first year. For us baptism is not so much the acknowledgement of the person who is being baptized in Jesus that they accepted him rather for those who are responsible for that child to wash away the sins we are born with and raise that child to know Jesus so that they WILL accept him come time for their confirmation. For us it is also the cleansing of our souls and opening up the soul to the acceptance of Jesus. After all it was ordered that everyone in the household be baptized. After about 16 years we go through the rite of confirmation...meaning we either accept Jesus or not into our lives and follow the rules of our church to the best of our abilities...after all we are all human. If your child knows what baptism means...and you feel she is ready...then by all means let her. It is a great thing to see a child love Jesus so much they they WANT to accept him.
Andora - posted on 10/06/2010
The right time is when The Holy Spirit puts it on their heart. It is a different age for each child. So long as your daughter understands what she is doing (what baptism means, why she wants to do it, etcetera) then she may very well be ready. Pray about it and let The Lord lead you. Peace to you
Kristi - posted on 10/06/2010
I agree with Casey - have your Pastor sit down with her and talk about her decision and make sure she knows what she is doing and why she wants to do it. My kids were young - my daughter was 8 or 9...and my son was about 11 or 12. I was young as well when I got baptized and knew exactly what was going on. If she gets older and wants to reconfirm, she can always rededicate and get baptized again.....my Pastor has done that for older teens, etc that were baptized much younger. I think if she is sure now, then it couldn't hurt to go ahead with it.
Rosemarie - posted on 10/06/2010
If they are asking for it, just ask them what they think being baptized means. If they give you an answer that satisfies the reason then they are old enough. As long as they know what it means then they can be held accountable so let them do it! Age is not an issue, the knowledge that Christ is our saviour and died for our sins so that we too can have the kingdom of Heaven, that is the issue. Good Luck. and God Bless that little angel of yours! It sounds like she is on fire for the Lord.
Katie - posted on 10/06/2010
Well, the appropriate age of baptism is really whenever they can understand the word of God and understand what baptism really means and represents. You know, why we do it.
Maybe you and your daughter should sit down with your pastor and discuss this. See what his opinion is.
Janet - posted on 10/04/2010
As a minister, I can tell you that most pastors will help parents decide if it is the right time and if your child truly understands what Baptism is about. We ask them questions about their salvation experience, what it meant to them, and what baptism means to them.
Depending on the answer, the pastor will decide if a child has a true understanding that baptism is the next step in obedience to God after salvation, it isn't about just going up and getting "dunked" as my daughter called it for several years before she understood.
Each of my children got saved at 5 years old, but each one was baptized at different times. My son was baptized right away, he and I together, then my daughter was 8 or 9 years old, then my other daughter was about six when she realized it was time for her to be baptized...
I wouldn't discourage her, talk to her, ask her what baptism is for her, if she understands what it is about and can tell you what her salvation means to her and understands the transformation that is supposed to happen in her life through repentance and obedience to God, (at age appropriate explanation) then I would say she is ready. It is her time. God allows the Holy Spirit to give unction to children when they are supposed to be obedient... She knows if it is real or not.
Leah - posted on 10/03/2010
Thanks everyone. We live overseas, and my DD has mentioned that she would like to be baptized next year when we make a trip back home (Grandparents will be able to be there for it). She would be 9 1/2 or 10 by that time. We'll have to decide at that time if we feel she is ready. Thanks for your thoughts everyone!
Ashley - posted on 10/03/2010
I think they need to understand the meaning of being baptized fully, not just think its something neat. But if she keeps asking, sit down and have a heart to heart, ask her what she thinks it means and if she gives you a good, meaningful answer, she might be ready
Carla - posted on 10/02/2010
I was baptized at 12. I was just recently baptized again. I felt it necessary, because my understanding, even at 12, of what Jesus is, what walking a Christian life is, was limited. I think each situation, every year of your life changes and molds you into something different. Each year you find new Truths and your walk changes.
I don't see anything wrong with being baptized every couple years. If you feel that you have received Truth you didn't have when you were first baptized, and feel like telling Jesus you truly are being buried with Him and raising to new life, what's the difference?
God loves us, and He understands our limited mentality. As long as we are being baptized because we love Him, God smiles.
Hope this doesn't offend anybody. I just feel like demonstrating love and devotion for Jesus can't be done enough :)
God bless, sweeties
Victoria - posted on 10/02/2010
I don't think it's so much to do with age as it is to do with understanding. I think that is something you can probably judge for yourself. You know your child best, is she truly sold out to Christ & choosing to live her life for God, or is it just something she's seen other do & wants to do it (like a symbol of age or something). My oldest is almost 9 and we haven't had her baptized yet, probably when she's a little closer to being 10 we will. She has a great understanding now, where as my 5 & 7 year old I don't believe are ready yet.
Anne - posted on 10/02/2010
Hi Leah, both of our daughters are adults,22 and 26 years old, Unless your Pastor or Denomination has a rule concerning the age of a child and Baptisms I would set your child and their understanding of just what Baptisms is, regardless of their age. Also you know your child will she be upset at being dunked in the water by a non family member(if dunking is the way your church does Baptism.
I asked our daughters every time a Baptism Service was held. Both girls declined each time. Our Youngest has since been Baptized by our Pastor in the Pond of a church family. She was 20 at the time, she later said that she was glade she waited because she really knew what she was doing and why. Our Oldest daughter has not been Baptized and If I Were To Suggest this she would tell me she will do it when she is ready.
The bottom line with this is you are the mom and you know your daughter. I am not sure I would keep putting her off, because I know that you love your daughter and you would never want to make her feel like she is not old enough to truly love God.
Casey - posted on 10/02/2010
Personally, I don't think you can put an exact age on it....I agree that it would depend on the child... but I think if your child is asking questions and showing interest, then perhaps she's ready. I was 9 and was well aware of my decision. Also, working in the church I've encountered children younger who were confident in their choice. I would ask if your pastor, or another staff person she may be comfortable with would be willing to talk to her or the two of you together about it. Good luck.
Linda - posted on 10/01/2010
I really think it will be different for each child. I waited until my children were about 10--I wanted them to be sure that this was THEIR decision, and I also wanted them to remember it. However, there is a lot of variation on this, depending on the maturity of the child, their understanding of the spiritual meaning of it, and their overall temperament.
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