we bring up our children we have all sorts of hopes, fears
· What will happen to him/her?
· How will s/he get on in the world?
· What sort of person will s/he become?
As parents we want our children to be happy and fulfilled,
and we want to do all that we can to give them a good start
in life. Arranging for our child to be baptised is part of
In talking with many parents, they have shared with me a wide
range of reasons why they would like their child to be baptised:
“I want the best for my child.”
“It has always been done in our family.”
I want to give thanks to God
“I was baptised as a child and I want the
for my children.”
“I want my child to know they belong to
“Baptism will set my child on the right
“Granny will be pleased.”
“I want to share my faith with my
“It gives them a good start in life.”
makes them a Christian.”
“I want my child to grow up with a sense
of right and
“I want to get all the family together to celebrate my
“I pray that God will give my child
protection and guidance.”
“I want us to start as we mean to go on,
with a sense
of God’s presence.”
Perhaps some of these reasons are true for you.
As a parent of two boys, I can identify with these heartfelt
reasons. I would also suggest that for many of us, our desire
as parents to have our children baptised operates at an additional,
deeper level which is often hard to put into words. To share
in bringing a new life into the world is one of the most profound
experiences we will ever have. We may feel a sense of awe at
the gift and miracle of life. In the change of family routines
and lifestyle we discover that we have a new set of priorities.
It is a time when we may also find ourselves asking deeper
questions about our own lives and where we are heading.
Preparing for baptism allows us to become more aware of the
wider spiritual reality in which we all live. As we open ourselves
to God’s love, we can make more sense of our own existence
and find a clearer sense of direction and purpose for ourselves
and our children.