Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Intentional Obedience

We had a huge celebration last Sunday as Jaden, Kellen, and Sage were all baptized. It was a glorious day. They each have their own story as to how they came to their decision to be baptized. The Holy Spirit prompted each of them at different times and in different ways.

We have talked about baptism throughout the last couple years with our kids... We would make it a point to have our children present (instead of in the nursery/child care) when someone was being baptized. Our children loved watching baptisms, and it would usually prompt many questions. It would also come up whenever we would read particular Bible stories. Sage especially like reading about John the Baptist and how eccentric he was, and we would usually end up in a long discussion. However, she would always end our night with "...but I don't want to be baptized. It would be too scary."

We never wanted to be the ones to "make" our kids be baptized. We truly wanted the Holy Spirit to be the One stirring their hearts. We were very careful to give them info about what Scriptures says about baptism, what it means, why God commands us, etc. without causing our kids to think "this is something my parents want me to do."

We started talking about baptism in everyday conversation a couple weeks ago. We told the kids that there was going to be an opportunity at church. Sage actually responded immediately with enthusiasm. She said, "I want to be baptized and tell the whole world that I love Jesus." She was genuinely excited and had plans of all the people she wanted to tell.

Jaden, on the other hand, was very hesitant. He knew it was a command, but he did not want to get up in front of the church. He had his mind made up that he would not be baptized.

Kellen has such a tender heart for Jesus. He wanted to be baptized because he loves Jesus and wants to follow him! It was something he just knew he was supposed to do.

Later in the week, just a few days before Sunday, we had Jaden and Kellen write in their journal why they have chosen to follow Jesus and also why they should be baptized. Jaden said, "well I don't have to write in my journal because I'm not getting baptized." I told him that he still needed to write about why he has decided to follow Jesus. So he reluctantly went to work. I ended up taking a cat nap, while they worked on their journal (unbeknownst to me). When I woke up, Jaden eagerly came to me with his journal wanting to read what he had written. He began sharing why he has chosen to follow Jesus. Then he flipped the page and started reading "why I should be baptized..." I was surprised, and asked him why he wrote that. He said that he decided that he should be baptized because God was commanding it, and he loves Jesus and has already chosen to follow Him. We were so proud of Jaden--especially that he would not let fear get in the way of doing what God has commanded! After making the commitment to be baptized, Jaden had such a joy and enthusiasm. He kept saying, "I can't wait until Sunday!" Then Sunday morning when he woke up, he ran up the stairs, saying "Today is the day I get baptized!!!"

Then on Friday, March 27th, we had each of the kids send an email to Pastor Marc, telling him of their decision. I love their emails because it shows their individuality--each of their personalities shine through. Pastor Marc actually had the emails put into power point and shared them with the church before each of their baptisms. Here is what each wrote...


I am Jaden and I would like to baptised. Could I? Because I chose to follow Jesus for my whole life. I believe that God is my Savior!



I want to be BAPTISE ! I Love Jesus with all my hart ! I hav a journal to i'm going to read it.


I want to be baptised...
because Jesus loves me and I love him a lot too (like a thousand, million, gillion, killion)
I want to follow Jesus because I love him so, so, so, so, so, so, so, much. I want to follow him where ever He goes. Jesus loves me and someday I will go to heaven. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. That makes me want to follow Him.

From: Sage (as dictated to my Mommy)

P.S. The "so, so, so, so" went on for about 2 minutes!


On Sunday, everyone was so excited. We brought clothes to change into, towels, cameras.... Once we were at church and in the bathroom changing, Sage became very upset. She did not want to have to wear her capris over her swimsuit. They were going to get all wet. I tried explaining that everyone wears their clothes. She did not like this idea. It did not make sense why you would wear your clothes knowing you are going to get soaking wet. She remained a little uneasy throughout the service, and I was beginning to wonder if she might change her mind last second.
Finally we were called up front as a family. The order was for Jaden, the oldest, to go first, then Kellen, then Sage. Sage watched with a huge smile and clapped as her brothers were each baptized. Then on her turn, she quickly hopped into the "tub" eagerly anticipating her baptism. As she was dunked under, she had that panicky response, of being put under water. She scrambled, standing up, wiping the water off her eyes, as Pastor Marc asked if she was ok. She hopped out with a towel wrapped around her, and immediately turned to me and said, "Mommy, I want to do that again." We kept walking down the hall back to the bathroom, with Sage asking the entire way, "Mommy can I be baptized again. I liked that so much." She was disappointed when I said no, but I explained to her that she had many friends that had not been baptized yet. She can now encourage them to be baptized and tell them how special, awesome, and celebratory it is to be baptized. A week later, she has asked me a couple more times if she can be baptized twice because it was so much fun. I am so thankful that she has a memory of it being a joyous occasion.

It was such a special day. I was very overwhelmed with emotion and shed many happy tears. I couldn't help but think how we have prayed for each of our children to accept Jesus as their savior, to love Him wholeheartedly, and to pursue Him with passion. I realized that we had even begun praying that while each of our children were still in my womb. God had heard our prayers and He had begun answering them! There is no greater joy than living a life in complete surrender to Jesus. And to see our children start on that journey....pure joy!


Beautiful Mess said...

That is awesome! I am so happy for the blessings of obedience.

If you have any pictures to share, I would love to see. I love baptisms!

Jeff said...

Wish I could have been there! Sounds awesome.