As a teenager I had a religious experience that some would refer to as being "born again." After some time, I was baptized again, as a believer by immersion. I then, saw no validity in my infant baptism.
I have now been a Lutheran since the late 1980s. Lutherans primarily baptize infants. This is something I have struggled with for a long time. Was it really valid if the recipient was not exercising faith? What if the parents of the child did not believe? What if it was being done simply for "fire insurance," just in case there might be something to this God thing? Or, what if the baby is baptized because the parents have caved into pressure from other family members?
My appreciation of infant baptism, including my own, began with studying church history in undergrad. I was amazed at how far back in the history of the Christian faith this practice goes! In studying Luther's Large Catechism with Rural Pastor, I have come to a better understanding of why we do the things we do as Lutherans. Luther's wrote this concerning baptism:
...We do not put the main emphasis on whether the person baptized believes or not, for in the latter case baptism does not become invalid. Everything depends upon the Word and commandment of God...baptism is simply water and God's Word in and with each other...when the Word accompanies the water, baptism is valid, even though faith is lacking. For my faith does not make baptism; rather, it receives baptism...for it is not bound to our faith but to the Word.At the time of baptism, God comes and works and does what God wants to do in spite of us. It is all about God, not about us. As Carl Jung wrote, "Bidden or not, God is present."
"Misuse does not destroy the substance, but confirms its existence." Gold remains no less gold if a harlot wears it in sin and shame. (pp 463-464, "The Large Catechism," The Book of Concord)
So, the questions for me really end up being, "How do I walk in my baptism? How do I live this out to the glory of God? How do I in my daily life incarnate God's presence?" May God gives us all the ears to listen for that still small voice of direction and guidance as we seek to live in service to God and neighbor.