Today's post is about adoption. Jess over at Making Home wrote a wonderful post about the beauty of adoption. Obviously I, an adoptive mother, am highly in favor of adoption. There was a person who commented on that post and I will quote,
Jess, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on something.In ancient times, there were no adoption agencies. When a couple could not have biological children, God was deemed to have made it so for a reason. Maybe the man would have a child by another wife or concubine, but nowhere in the Bible (that I'm aware of) does it suggest that God wants us to adopt children if we can't have biological children. On the contrary, the Bible seems to suggest that if you are faithful, God will allow you to bear children.Obviously, I strongly support adoption, whether or not a couple also has biological children. I just think it's worth noting that over the centuries, childless couples would not have assumed that God wanted them to adopt. That is our modern mindset.
This post then is my response (though she did not ask for MY opinion) to this person's comment. Please note that I left out her name for her privacy.
Dear commentor, I disagree with your assertion that the Bible does not want us to adopt. In that time and place, as a rule, people took care of their own family members. Immorality was not at the all time high that it is today. Most people had children within the bonds of marriage and not outside of it, although that was not unheard of. The Bible does not mention the word adoption in regards to children and yet the concept is there. Taking care of widows and orphans is mandated for all Christians whether or not they have biological children. Some of the verses that support my opinion follow.
1. God the Father adopted us as His sons and daughters. Ephesians 1.5 He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.
2. Deuteronomy 10:18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.
3. Exodus 22:22 - 24 Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword: your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.
4. Psalm 146:9 The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but He frustrates the ways of the wicked.
5. Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right! Seek justice, incourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
6. 1 Timothy 5: 1-16 talks about how Christian families should behave toward their own family members. It says how if a widow has family they should look after her and not leave it to the church to do. Verse 8 I will quote here, " If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." This relates to how we must care for widows and orphans that are our own family members.
Verse 16 also has merit as you will see. "If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need." I submit the same principle applies to orphans.
7. Psalm 68:5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in His holy dwelling.
8. James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
You mention that in ancient times there were no adoption agencies. We can't actually know that since we weren't there, but I submit that there were in fact orphans. The Bible talks of orphans and often in the same sentence with widows. The church was admonished to take care of orphans and widows. It mentions that God has a special place in His heart for them. In those times families took care of their own. If a child was orphaned other family members would take the child in. If there was no one then the Bible commands us to take care of them. We have a lot more orphans today than then. We have a lot more people today than we had then too. We live in a throw away society where no one wants to be responsible. Children are born out of wedlock at an alarming rate. Poverty is so bad in these third world contries that women put their babies up for adoption praying that someone will give them not only a better life than they can, but a life period. They wish for their children to survive. If the church were doing its part to help the poor, there would be a lot fewer children to adopt. Sometimes, the Lord allows a couple to be barren so they will consider adoption. He loves those children out there and wants them to be raised in Godly homes. Psalm 139:16 says your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. You see God knew Alaina before one day came to be. He knew what would become of her. He planned her to be my daughter though not born of my body. My life is committed to Him. If He did not wish for me to adopt, He would have prevented it. Had I been able to concieve and give birth, I would not have adopted Alaina. I've always had a heart for adoption, but likely we would have adopted later in life, possibly an older child, but it wouldn't have been now. And I submit one more thing for your consideration. If God did not want childless people to adopt, what do you think He wanted done with the orphans? Kick them to the curb? Some family that can barely support their own children to take them in? Put them in an orphanage? Are you suggesting that people who cannot have biological children are not capable of parenting or that it is not God's will for them to parent? How can you know God's will for someone else? You say that childless couples would not have assumed God wanted them to adopt. How can you know this? Were you there? No, you were not. Sarah adopted the child of the maid Abraham slept with as her own until she gave birth to Issac. Not all childless couples believe that God means for them to adopt, nor do they wish to. My brother and sister-in-law were unable to concieve and chose not to adopt. I know of several other childless couples who have chosen not to adopt. I even know of couples who have chosen to remain childless because they just didn't want kids.
The Bible does seem to say that the Lord opens and closes the womb at His will, but that's just it. His will. Hannah for instance was barren. The Lord had a special meaning for it. He gave her Samuel, and then gave her other sons and daughters. Sarah was barren. He had a reason for it. He gave her Issac and made her the mother of Israel. God had a special place in his heart for Leah because she was an unloved wife. He gave her many children. Rachel on the other hand had trouble concieving. Elizabeth was baren. God had a purpose. In her old age he gave her John the Baptist. Ruth was barren of her first husband. Had God allowed her to concieve she may not have married Boaz, But God had in mind for her to be the great grandmother of David, and thus blessed her to be an ancestor of Jesus. God allows barreness, but in His wisdom He always has a purpose. Sometimes it's for a season and sometimes permanent. You see we are all sinful, and barreness like any other problem is a result of the fall of man. The Bible does not suggest that if you are faithful God will allow you to have children. Lots of people give birth to children who would deny the very existance of God. They aren't faithful. Barreness is a result of the fall of man in the garden of eden just as cancer or any other problem is. One cannot look upon a cancer patient or one with alzheimers and say well you must not have been faithful or this would not have happened to you. The fact is we live in a fallen world and we all suffer the consequences of that no matter how good we are, no matter how bad and no matter how faithful. None of us are perfect and thus completely faithful to God. No not one, and yet some are able to have children and some are not. Some get cancer and some do not. Some get sick and some do not.
Please feel free to comment.