This was very timely for me, as I have a 7 year old that asks Jesus into her heart every 6 months. I've always been concerned about pushing them into this decision before they are old enough to truly know what they are doing. I've heard beautiful testimonies of people being saved when they were very young and carrying that faith with them for life. And yet, I've also heard many testimonies of people that were "saved" young and then floundered for years before coming to Christ.
I want to be sure my children know, truly know, the decisions they are making and that they can remember those precious decision moments. At the same time, can you really discourage a child who insists they are ready?
It's been a true struggle for me with each child: Encourage them and risk leading them into a false assurance of a salvation they weren't ready to understand or discourage them and risk confusing them.
My thoughts on salvation are different from some of my fellow church members and I generally keep those thoughts quiet, lest they be misunderstood. I grew up knowing there was a moment of salvation that occurred when the magic words were said. Many churches even give "birth certificates" for new believers to commemorate their salvation moment. I don't have one of those. I couldn't truly say which day or moment it was for me. I prayed the "magic words" MANY times as a child and teenager, meaning it every time. There were specific times when that prayer meant even more to me than others, moments when I know I was giving up more of my self. It was much more a Philippians 2:12 kind of scenario for me. The truth is, the moment of salvation happened many years before I was ever born, when Christ died and rose again. The bible doesn't tell me magic words save me, it says to believe in my heart and confess with my mouth...and that I have done and will continue to do always.
I had so much confusion and doubt and misunderstandings as a child. I really don't want that for my children. Your Child's Profession of Faith brings out all of the questions and walks parents through the process with confidence. It has 9 chapters:
Chapter 1: Putting the Issue on the Table
Chapter 2: A Parent's Greatest Concern
Chapter 3: The Intellectual Immaturity of Children
Chapter 4: The Changeableness and Instability of Children
Chapter 5: The Likelihood of Deception in Children
Chapter 6: Childhood: A Time for Patient Cultivation
Chapter 7: The Manifestations of Faith
Chapter 8: When Your Child Is Ready for Baptism
Chapter 9: Some Concluding Counsels
After this, there another 24 pages that include practical helps:
- Helpful Suggested Questions for Pastoral Interviews with Children about Baptism
- Common Questions Parents May Ask Regarding the Baptism of Their Children
- Valuable Excerpts from Andrew Murray
- Recommended Additional Reading
The book is available as an ebook for $5.50 and in paperback format for $7.50
Disclaimer: I received this material in exchange for my honest opinion as a member of the TOS Crew, and received no other form of compensation. For whatever they're worth, the opinions are mine and mine alone, as stated in my disclosure policy.