God, as an adoptive father

I was born to an unwed teenage mother who was soon abandoned by the guy who got her pregnant.

To this day, I have no memory of the guy whose DNA I carry. In fact, my younger brother never met him in person, because the coward left before Mark was born.

When I read verses in the Bible about being forsaken (literally: “to relinquish” or “to denounce”) it is very easy for me to empathize with what theological concept is being taught.

My brother and I were unwanted by our “biological father” and suddenly very inconvenient to our 18- year-old mother.

But there’s still much more to this story.

It wasn’t long before my mother met another man. A man who wasn’t turned off by the prospect of raising another man’s children, but instead adopted them into his heart in such a way as to overwhelm the technicality of genetics.

This is the man I’ve called “father” for as long as I can remember. As far as my brother and I are concerned, we have no other father on this earth.

When I read verses about the Christian being adopted into the family of God with the rights of an heir, such that we approach our Lord with full right and title to His name, it is also very easy for me to understand precisely what meaning is being imparted.

In the epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul writes that being led by the Spirit of God does not send us cowering in the dirt like slaves but lovingly pulled into the bosom of our Creator…  so that we cry out to Him with love and full affection, as a small child calls out to his or her daddy.

As a Christian, whose theological views could be best described as being “conservative” I am, of course, strongly against the institution of abortion. If left up to me, abortions would not occur. Of course, it’s not up to me…  thank your gods.

Christians, especially conservative ones, spill a lot of ink and raise a lot of clamor about abortion. To a casual observer one might think our opposition to abortion, as well as gay marriage, are fundamental doctrines.

While there are only a couple choice verses that mention anything about infanticide or homosexuality, adoption is an ongoing theme. God is constantly intervening into the chaos of men’s lives, choosing people to adopt and make His own.

Even in the story of the Christ, the “only begotten Son” is adopted by a man whose betrothed wife conceived by the Holy Spirit. He was raised as an adopted son, in whom many more would be adopted into a family universal.

When I think about those brothers and sisters whose testimonies make the greatest impression on me, I think about those who “put their money where their mouth is” by opening their home to an “unwanted child” and give it a new name and place as heir in their household.

Some dear friends of my wife and I adopted a little girl from Africa a couple years ago, and we have delighted in following their progress from afar.

They live in Florida and already had two boys of their own. The father serves as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and the mother stays home with the children. Though they are far from wealthy, they are rich in their love for others and manifest it as well as any Christians I know.

Another distant friend of mine works as a minister and is currently planting a church with his family in Wisconsin.

They too are far from being materially “wealthy” and already have three natural-born children, but they are prudent in managing their household and the Lord is faithful in providence.

In my church, I believe seeds are being sown among some of our members, especially our younger ones. As our church grows, and the younger couples start to build families, I hope that one of our church’s ministries is adoption.

This is a mission we believe in, and I know we are committed to serving and aiding those families who take up such a noble calling.

In orphanages across the world, the nurseries often grow silent. Not for lack of children, but because their many wailing mouths have grown mute. You see, a child will eventually stop crying when it believes that no one will come.

For those of us seeking an end to the untimely murder of the unborn, perhaps we should also look to change the culture of adoption and become an adoptive people. Even as we all are orphans, wandering our way through the shadows of this world, we have an adoptive Father who claims us as His own.

May we, seeking to live in His example, become a people who reclaim adoption and show this love for the world’s countless unwanted children.

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