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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).
Are you terrified yet?
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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