Children typically trust God’s love for them and want to do something to show God the love they reciprocate for Him. When boys and girls hear the Gospel taught, they usually simply receive it and want to obey it.
There is no set age for when a child is ready for water baptism; however, the following are aspects to consider:
- The child can tell you in his or her own words about his or her personal salvation experience.
- The child can tell you in his or her own words what water baptism represents as an outward symbol of the inward new birth.
- The child understands the symbol is not salvation itself.
- The child is asking to be water baptized and is certain it is what he or she wants to do.
- The child is has put their head under the water before and is not afraid of the water.
- The parent or guardian has prayed about it and is confident the child is spiritually ready.
- The child has talked with a teacher or church leader, and the teacher/leader agrees the child is ready.
With all that being said, there is no harm in being water baptized. Also, just because a child is water baptized at a young age doesn’t mean he or she might not want to do it again when they have more of an understanding. Children are often sensitive to the Holy Spirit, sensing taking action is what they want to do with the truth they’ve heard. Why would we discourage that? Children don’t have to have a deep understanding of all the details before they can respond to God’s love. The Gospel is simple, and all it takes is the faith of a child to rely on God for what He says He will do.