How young is too young to get baptized? When my 7-year-old son decided he wanted to follow Jesus and get baptized, it felt early. I was hesitant and wanted him to really know what he was doing.
Not that I don’t want him to, but because i wanted him to fully grasp, understand and truly choose for himself. But who am I to stop the work of God?
A few weeks ago, he was baptized and I wanted to talk with him a few things to prepare him for the future. Below, you will find the letter I wrote and read aloud to him.
I’m sharing it here because I think parents have often, accidentally, gotten it wrong. They haven’t adequately prepared their kids for the Christian life. Though I’m here with my faith in tact, many people I know are not and I think it’s partially because we weren’t given enough information.
I know this is not just about “information” and the Holy Spirit is essential in the saving of a soul, but I am also doing my due diligence to ensure my son’s faith is not rocked for no reason. Thus, I’m preparing him with some realities of the Christian life. Perhaps you will find it useful.
Some will continue to ask, how young is too young for baptism? From my understanding at this point, there is no age too young if the Spirit is at work.
Letter to a Young Child Being Baptized
I’m excited you’ve decided to accept Jesus into your heart and get baptized to show the world that you are a follower of Him. I know that you made this decision on your own because God moved your heart and you believe that Jesus died on the cross to save you (and all of us) from being punished for our sins, the bad choices we make.
Not only that, you know that God offers us eternal hope through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Because you are choosing to follow Him, you aren’t destined for death, but for eternal life. That is the best decision you could ever make in your life and something I have prayed for since before you were even born.
I wanted to share a few things with you as you step into this life as a Christian, things that weren’t always told to me. Because you’re making such a big decision at a young age, it’s just good to have some of these things in mind as you get older.
9 Thoughts to Help Prepare Your Child For Christian Life
- Life can be hard, but God is always good.
Life can throw you curveballs, difficult things that you aren’t expecting. Sometimes you’ll encounter some really hard feelings, people and situations. The tough things in this life are because we live in an imperfect, sinful world. That isn’t how God wanted it, but it’s what happened because He gave us free will to choose. If we didn’t have that free will, we couldn’t love God or anyone else, because love isn’t love unless it’s chosen and not forced.
The Bible says that God “works all things together for the good of those who love Him.” This doesn’t mean everything will always turn out grand, but that God has a greater plan for you as a Christian and you can trust that plan.
- It’s okay to have questions.
Sometimes it may seem like oh I’m a Christian so I should just believe what the pastor tells me or what the Bible says. Yes, the Bible is true, but it can also be confusing and hard to read at times. Yes, pastors do their best, but they are also just people who can get things wrong. So when you have questions or something doesn’t make sense, that’s totally fine. God actually delights in our questions because it means we’re trying to get to know Him better.
In fact, Jacob in the Bible “wrestled with God” about some things he was struggling with. So talk about your questions and seek answers because many smart men and women over the years have done the same. And there is usually an answer or explanation. Not always. God is infinitely mysterious so we will never know or understand everything, but if we did, He would no longer be a God right?
- Prayer first.
No matter what is going on in your life – now or when you are a grown-up – I hope you will pray first. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even if it feels like God’s not listening. When we pray, we open up our hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit and we ask God to bring a heavenly presence to us…to fight the battles of darkness with the warriors of heaven. If you don’t know what to pray, you can just say “Help me, God.” If you don’t want to pray, you can just pray “God, help me to want to pray.”
- There is evidence for our Christian faith.
There are a lot of religions in the world, right? Sometimes, people ask how could you possibly know what’s right? It’s a good question. I want you to know that we didn’t teach you about Jesus because we “hope” we are right. We taught you about Jesus because we believe that He was a real man who walked the Earth, was crucified and rose again. That’s not just a story in the Bible, it’s something that actually happened and there is documented evidence outside of the Bible that it did. Jesus lived and was known, crucified on the Cross for no reason and was seen by numerous people many times over after He was resurrected. Jesus fulfilled many dozens of prophecies from the Old Testament and the Bible has been historically replicated thousands of times over any other ancient document.
The Bible seamlessly fits into history and though it was written by many people, it all comes together perfectly. Jesus himself said the Bible was true and He was the God that resurrected we can trust him on that. His disciples, who knew Him in the flesh, devoted their lives to spreading Christianity after Jesus went to heaven and they all died martyrs for their faith. No other religion has evidence like this. So we can stake our claim in Christ on faith, but that faith is always backed up by science, history, archeaology and more.
- Your identity is in Christ.
You are a boy and a son and a brother and a cousin. You have white skin and were born in Indiana. But the most important thing about YOU and everyone you meet is that you are made by a God who loves you and in His image. He made you for a reason, on purpose, for this time in history.
So if anyone ever makes you feel bad about yourself, or criticizes you for something, you can remember that it’s not what others think that matters. What really matters is what God thinks of you and are you obeying Him?
- Sometimes God gives us rules or plans that don’t make sense.
Because we’ve only been around for a few years, but God has been around forever, sometimes it’s hard to know what the BIG plan is. Maybe you have to wait a long time for something you think is good. Maybe something bad happens and you don’t know why. Maybe God tells you to do something really specific or weird, and your not sure about it. God’s plans are bigger than our plans. Talk to older Christians like me and Daddy or Pastor Scott or someone like that if you are wondering what’s going on.
- You will encounter people who will tell you are wrong or foolish.
The Bible says that the people “of the world” (those who don’t know Jesus) will not understand the things of the Spirit. It won’t make sense to them because their eyes are not opened. You can’t expect to convince then you are right. The best thing to do is go back to the Bible, to pray for them, to talk with older Christians who can help you remain strong in your faith.
The world is a big place and it’s difficult for anyone to grasp the reality of God. However, the best explanation for a world created to perfectly suited to human life and with such incredible beauty with intelligent beings like people is that there was a Creator behind it all. Few have been able to argue with that.
- Sometimes you’ll be misunderstood.
Sometimes when we are living our lives according to God’s rules, we will look weird, different or even hostile to the rest of the world. The world says you should just always do what makes you happy and whatever you “feel” is the most important thing about you. That is not true. The most important thing about you is that God made you, loves you and you decided to follow Him. When you decided to follow Him, you decided not to follow the world. And you can expect for other people not to get it!
What we can always do is go back to the Bible and read what it says. If you are struggling with a decision, you ask God what He says and then you live by that. It’s getting harder these days.
Sometimes people could even call you “hateful” simply for believing what God says about human beings, but the best thing you can do is pray for those people, love them in action and continue seeking to glorify and please God. He is our highest authority and no one else really matters.
- If you’re ever feeling lost or unsure about where God is, it’s okay.
You don’t have to tell yourself you “shouldn’t” feel that way. God gave us feelings and complex minds and emotions. They are not wrong! He also gave us the tools to deal with hard things. So before you run to the Internet or a friend, run to God.
Run to prayer, open the Bible and talk with a trusted Christian friend/older person. The Bible says “seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” It might not happen right away, but you can know that God is always listening and He will not lead you astray if you are doing your best to follow Him.
We’re all just doing this parenting thing the best we can. These may not be the perfect things to say, but I felt called to write them and speak them to my son. So many people are caught off guard by things related to faith as they reach young adulthood. There will be some of that still, but I hope by providing some of this insight early, it will be helpful to his faith.
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