“I Want Them to Make Their Own Choice. . .”

Joe Willmann Teaching the Faith at Home 1 Comment

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Tell me if you have heard this statement before:

I want my child to choose their own religion when they grow up.

To most people in our postmodern society, this is a loving statement. Of course the postmodern mind would want their child to choose their own religion. To the postmodernist, there is no absolute truth, so why not?

Reading this statement might cause one to shudder. It is a dangerous statement because, on the surface, it seems like a fine and loving thing to do for your children. Giving them freedom, giving them choice. But is it a loving statement? Let’s test it against God’s Holy Word.

I am the LORD, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God.
Isaiah 45:5a ESV


Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 ESV

This was why there was so much hubbub throughout the entire sixteenth century! The Lutheran reformers contended for one truth, not many.

Holy Scripture teaches one truth, not many. Click To Tweet

If we believe what we confess in the words of the Athanasian Creed, then we would never hope for our children to choose their own religion. We wouldn’t hope for this because we know there is only one faith, the faith that was handed down from the saints (Jude 1:3 ESV). We especially wouldn’t hope for this because the end result has eternal consequences.

The Athanasian Creed teaches us there is one faith to hold to, not many. Click To Tweet

What we hope for, and what we pray for, is that our children stay strong in the faith that they were baptized into. We teach them to recognize good and evil, truth and lie. We fulfill our vocation as parents by catechizing them, teaching them about the truth taught in Scripture, and bringing them faithfully to Divine Service every week to receive God’s gifts. Most importantly, we teach them about Christ crucified for sinners and how He has promised to be with us in His Word and His Sacraments.

In this Advent season, as we prepare for the coming of our King, hold fast to the promise given to you and your family that Christ accomplished for us on the cross:

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon His shoulder,

and His name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and of peace

there will be no end,

on the throne of David and over His kingdom,

to establish it and to uphold it

with justice and with righteousness

from this time forth and forevermore.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9:6–7 ESV



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About the Author

Joe Willmann


Joe Willmann is the Senior Instructional Designer for Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis, MO. A former teacher and administrator, Joe has a passion for education and learning theory. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Ball State University and his Master's Degree from Concordia University - Ann Arbor. He lives with his wife, Nicole, his daughter Ava, and his son Carter. You can read his latest posts here.

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Susan James
Susan James

Yes! Many times I’ve heard that. My mother said she took us to LCMS church then later we could make our choice. My brother got away from church and married a non-church going woman. They have 2 sons, now adults, with sons of their own. He said that we want them to make their own choice. Mom said,” How can they choose if they’ve never been to church?” They sons don’t go or take their sons to church. Educated people with Master degrees but no sense of what God has told them in His Word. I took both my girls.… Read more »