God looks at the heart and not birth certificates — Jody-Ann Ingram
“But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God’.”- Mark 10:14
Many people have condemned parents who allow children to get baptised at what is deemed a ‘tender age.’
‘They don’t know what they’re getting themselves into’ or ‘Give them time to grow and enjoy themselves’ are comments which float around wherever there are conversations surrounding the ‘appropriate age to submit to Christ’.
But Jody-Ann Ingram, who got baptised at eight years old, is warning against those who forbid children from taking the ‘dip of change’.
“Once they understand, let them. Don't be the hand that leads them to hell. The devil is out to kill, steal and destroy and we can see it more evident today that children have become his target. Heaven is very real and so is hell,” she said adding that the fear of hell should not be the driving force for baptism.
Ingram, who has had many discouraging comments and criticisms thrown at her regarding her early baptism, explained to Family and Religion that it was God Himself who called her at that age.
“Growing up it was a custom to go to church every Sunday. I remember one Saturday evening I was home just thinking about church. I always watched how they danced in the Spirit and I remember saying ‘God me want ketch in a Spirit too’. I put in one of my mother's cassette and I knelt down and I repeated the Lord's Prayer over and over as that's the only way I knew how to pray. I repeated it until tears started flowing,” she shared.
Ingram explained that after approximately three hours of praying she was joined by her mother.
“I felt when Mommy touched me and she began speaking in tongues (she got saved couple of months prior). She held me and was praying and I was there reaching out to God. “We went on the veranda, my eyes were closed but I could see everything as if they were opened, and at the corner of the veranda there I saw this light shaped like a man.
“He stretched forth His hands and said, ‘Come’, but Mommy was still holding me and praying. I said to her, ‘See Jesus over there, Mommy, Him a call me let me go to Him, just let me go to Him’,” Ingram said.
Ingram and her two siblings got baptised the day after this experience.
She explained that the baptisms were done in the absence of her mother who wanted her to wait until the following week as she was unable to make it on that particular Sunday.
Seventeen years and many testimonies of God’s goodness later, Ingram is professing that God looks at the heart and not birth certificates.
According to her: “We are not too young to die and once we are of an age to distinguish between right and wrong, baptism is never too soon. There are so many examples of children who God used in the Bible. Josiah was only eight years old. The purpose and the call of God starts from the womb (Jeremiah) so who are we to tell a five-year-old that he/she isn’t ready? Salvation is a beautiful thing and there are many benefits of getting save at a young age.”