"Why do you wait dear brother, oh why do you tarry so long. The Savior is waiting to give you, a place in His sanctified home..." Remember that strong old song?
I'm sure it's not a new question, in fact I've heard it for years myself, but it came up again recently. When a person decides they want to be baptized shouldn't they do it immediately?
I remember years ago when I'd direct camp invariably we'd have at least one child who would come to camp knowing that they were going to be baptized there. They'd decided a month or two earlier and wanted to be baptized at camp. On the other hand we'd have a child who would want to be baptized at camp and when we'd call their parents (a wise practice that we learned to do from someone who is wiser than I), and the parent would encourage the child to wait until they got home or later in the week when they could get there.
I'm told that used to people would wait in much the same way until a Gospel Meeting. Which in a rather ironic way would explain why Gospel Meeting in many places are not as effective as they were at one time. Camps have become the modern Gospel Meetings.
BUT: In the Bible it seems that baptism always came immediately upon the acceptance of Jesus as God's Son, or the recognition of sin in one's life. In Acts 2 it was both - they realized that "this same Jesus" was God's Son and that they had with "wicked hands...crucified and slain" Him. In Acts 16 the jail keeper was baptized "the same hour of the night". In Acts 8 the nobleman from Ethiopia was immersed, it appears, as soon as he saw water, after having Christ preached to him.
BUT: Believing what I believe (and I imagine most who follow this blog) about baptism and the significant step that it is - that is believing what the scriptures teach (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21; etc) - we've said it is the most important decision we make in life. And that day is the most important day of the person being baptized life. So would you missed the most important day of your child's life? And that question might raise a couple of more: Is a child ready to make such a decision - we don't send 10 year old's out into the world with cars, guns or wedding licenses. LaGard railed on this "green house" effect in "Radical Restoration". While LaGard made some very valid points, how do you sit a child in services of the church for week after week and have them hear lesson after lesson of how important baptism is from people holding the Word of God and telling you this is what God wants for your life and that without it a person will be lost and expect them not to want to be baptized. By the time I was 10 years old I'd heard the plan of salvation from the pulpit at services roughly 2000 times. The "age of accountability" - well, that's another blog for another day - one friend jokingly says that if the child's feet can't touch the bottom of the baptistery then they're too young! There's a lot you can do to help assure your child is prepared when they are ready to become a Christian (including my favorite of having them write a paper about why they want to be baptized - saving that paper for them to read later if the question should come up if they were ready), but the bottom line might be that when they are ready there isn't much you could do to keep them from it or convincing them to wait!
Another issue might be the "helicopter parents" of today. There are parents who think that their child will be warped if they (the parents) miss any event of their child's life! I sometimes wonder if that is more warping than the other. Trust me parents, be there if you can...but if you miss one T-ball game or social your child can still eventually function as an adult!!
The other question: Is that really the most important day? In a sense, yes. But isn't that mentality the same that leads people to think that if they've been put under the water they are fine and no need to really continue to grow? Wouldn't it perhaps be more important to teach that every day after that day becomes increasingly more significant. It is our attempt at faithful living for and faithful loving of God coupled with His grace that is required?
So would you wait? Would you be upset if your child didn't wait for a time you could be there (I heard of one parent who demanded the preacher baptize her little boy a second time because she wasn't there)? I've got a lot more thoughts on all of this but I'd like to hear yours...