I have recently watched a stream of young people walk boldly down the aisle and give their lives to Christ. I have carefully examined their joyful expressions as they anticipated the cool baptismal waters. Last year, my oldest daughter was one of them.
In April 2008, my daughter, Chloe, expressed to me that she was ready to open the door of her heart and that Jesus had been knocking. She was only 5 years old, and so my husband and I thought we should wait. She was too young. Or was she? It wasn’t long before she was adamant about it, and so after ensuring that she knew all the right answers, we prayed with her to receive Christ in her heart. She spoke to the children’s minister, and a few weeks later, she was baptized.
I knew that some in the church would question it. I’ve seen other children as young as Chloe make this decision, and I’ve heard the skeptics, but I am thankful that most people were very excited for her. I also came to know the Lord at a very young age. Although I do not know the exact date and time, I remember walking forward at a summer VBS, being only around five years old.
We should not question God’s call on our children. When it is His timing, it is His timing, and we are in no position to question it. A few months after receiving His spirit, Chloe began school, and also became afflicted with a severe form of psoriasis. School was very trying for her, and her health was not well. She was embarrassed about her skin disorder, and she hated school. We got through it, and she is doing well now, but those were very hard days for her. Looking back, I know why God called her to Himself. He knew that she would need His indwelling Holy Spirit to give her peace and faith. I can also look back at trying times in my own childhood and remember feeling His presence at a very young age. I have no doubt that He called Chloe and me at the appropriate time.
Of course, children this young do not completely understand all the theology surrounding the cross, the trinity, and all the complicated theological matters involved. But, do any of us really? Don’t we all just have understanding at whatever level we are at? In Luke 10:21, Jesus exclaims, “I praise you Father of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father this was for your good pleasure.” I believe that the Father finds great joy when one of His children comes to accept him without doubting and questioning.
Around the time my oldest daughter was baptized, we had lived in our new home for almost a year. My new sink suddenly began to drain a lot slower than it had previously. It was an illustration for me of how as we get older, doubts and questions begin to clog our hearts, making it more difficult to freely accept Him. Little children do not have these doubts. They are like newly cleaned drains. Their hearts are not clogged. They just simply accept His love.
So, are they too young? Jesus didn’t think so. This is just another example of how His ways are higher than ours. All we are asked to do is simply believe, and our children seem to accept this. As they grow, we should teach them and disciple them, always telling them the story of the day they chose to answer God’s call. They may not have vivid memories of the moment, but we can encourage them and remind them. We all have a testimony that no one can argue with, and this is the beginning of theirs.