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What Does the Bible Say About...Baptism and Fear of Water?

My question may seem silly. But for me it is an issue. I want to be baptised. My problem is I am horrified of water. I even do what I can to keep from getting my face wet when I take a bath or shower. So how do you baptise some one who is afraid of water? The thought of going under water panics me.


Your question is certainly not silly. I have a son who is the same way as you. When he was younger just washing his hair could be a major undertaking.

Baptism is, by definition, immersion in water. That will make it difficult for you. The one doing the baptizing, if he/she is aware of your concerns, may be able to find ways to make it a little easier for you. Sometimes talking until you are relaxed and then doing it without warning works. (For some people, though, that might induce a panic worse than knowing when it will happen.) Allowing you a certain amount of control might help. For instance, if the place where you are being baptized can have the water level adjusted, if you can kneel so that your head is just above the water level and then quickly dip your head enough to be immersed, that might help.

Ultimately, and I don’t say this as lightly as it may sound in print, the question becomes one of what panics you more. Are you willing to go through the temporary panic of being underwater for a couple of seconds (though it may seem longer to you), in order to receive forgiveness of sins? Or are you going to let the panic of water be greater than your panic of spending an eternity without God? “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25)

I pray that you will trust God enough to overcome your fear of water, just for a moment. Then your joy at having your sins forgiven will be enhanced by the joy of not having to go through that again.