Trust in the Word

Joe Willmann Teaching the Faith at Home 1 Comment

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The birth of your first child is a life-changing experience. I’m not trying to downplay the importance of the birth of the rest of your children, but there is some major transformation that happens in a microsecond when your first child enters the world. It’s that moment that the doctor hands you your child to hold for the first time. When you and your wife come together with this joint vocation of being parents. It is in that microsecond when you see your child for the first time that you realize you would do anything in the world for this child. They are truly bone of your bones and flesh of your flesh.

I am ever more convinced that it is this transition that allows us as parents to keep our kids safe. It is that point when you realize you love someone so much, you will do anything for them.

Take on a second job so they can get the best education . . . check.

Jump in front of a car to save them . . . check.

Take a bullet for them . . . check.


And while caring for and protecting our children is a noble and great task, it is not our primary task. Our primary task, as parents, is to bring our children to the waters of Holy Baptism, to faithfully deliver them to the Divine Service to receive God’s precious gifts, and to faithfully teach the faith, once for all, delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).

No pressure.

Are you terrified yet?

I am.

Every day.


Because of this, it is understandable how some parents react when their child questions faith or falls away from faith. It is crushing. Not only because we are concerned for our child’s eternal salvation, even though that should be our only concern. Our selfish nature always goes inward, and we are crushed because we view ourselves as failures.

It becomes even more apparent when we see our friends in these tough, heart-wrenching situations. We see just how much we desire to find answers.

“What is the latest program to get our adult children to come back to the faith?”

“Maybe there is another church body that seems more accepting of their ideas, and if they go there, then they will at least be in church.”

“I just won’t talk about faith around them because I’ve been too pushy; that’s why they don’t believe.”

All of these thoughts are real, they all happen, but none of them align with what we believe, teach, and confess.

Every day I’m terrified. I see my friends who struggle with their own children who have walked away from the faith. They are adults now, and my friends are crushed. And for the same reason that they are crushed, I am terrified.

We are crushed and terrified because we don’t believe.


God has told us how faith is imparted:

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).

It is one of the most cited parts of Scripture in our Lutheran Confessions. It is also one that we have a hard time trusting in. Whenever challenge or struggle comes into our lives, we don’t trust God and what He has given us in His Word. My hand is raised in that group too.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, whether you are raising a family and are terrified like me, or are crushed because one of your children has left the faith, take heart in God’s promises. Do not lose faith. Trust in His Word. Speak the truth to everyone and love everyone. All you can do is what God has given you to do and trust in His promises.

Take them to the waters of Holy Baptism.

Take them to the Divine Service.

Teach them His Word.

Trust that God’s Word does what He says it will do.

God’s blessings as you teach and trust the faith once for all, delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 




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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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You had me at “terrified”. It is our job as parents to bring the Gospel to our children, while sin, the world and the devil seek to snatch them and their faith away. And it continues into adulthood.