So, we left off with what the "pattern of the world" is in regard to the orphan. That is important to recognize and check our own hearts on, but we can't stop there. The more important thing is; How does God view the orphan?
God views the orphan as His own…
Psalm 68:5–6: “A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”
God takes care of the orphan and provides their needs…
Psalm 68:6: “…God sets the lonely in families . . .”
Psalm 10:14 “You are the helper of the fatherless.”
God desires His followers to model His view of the orphan…
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.” (I think that last part about keeping oneself from being polluted also applies to allowing worldly thought patterns to determine how we view orphans and the needy.)
God sees that orphans may be hurting, needy and broken (just like everyone else)…
Psa. 10:14 “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.” We are not meant to be god to others and doing great things for orphans for our benefit. That is God’s role, not man’s. We are to think of ourselves as tools to be used by God for HIS ULTIMATE GLORY! We are only truly able to “share in His glory” when there is almost nothing to show of ourselves.
God desires an ACTIVE response to the orphan…
Is. 1:17 “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”
Learn, Do right, Seek justice, Encourage, Defend, Plead for… Six ways we can help the oppressed and the fatherless!
God sees us all as either orphans or as adopted sons and daughters…
Eph. 1:5 “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will —“
Rom. 8:23 “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
The obvious next question that comes to my mind is; “Well how does the Enemy view orphans?”
I think the obvious answer is that he wants the general populace to ignore, fear, or worship them… all those incorrect views separates us and the orphan from God’s good and perfect plan.
I tend to think that if Satan can’t get us to ignore or despise orphans he wants nothing more than to cause us to worship or to put them in God’s place. This is a very powerful idol. I think defending the orphan can be very justifiable and makes Christians become very very passionate (both for self and for the glory of God). BUT the orphan or adoption can still be an idol that is worshipped and fills us where only God is meant to fill! However, here is the thing; God rarely (not that I have found) reproves people for helping/loving/providing for others even if it is out of a heart set in idolatry. Why, because I think that the Spirit can use those desires and that ultimately there is a root of love that the Spirit corrects through. For instance, with the orphan, I think a family can start out with very self-serving motives (to get a perfect child, to be praised, to prove their love and devotion to God and others) and that very soon vanishes once those self-fulfilling emotions are taken away circumstantially and the hard work of raising a child, an often hurting child, begins. The same is true for any work of God… we often enter it with grand notions of “the great work WE will do FOR God” to only find it is only by God’s grace and provision we are able to survive.
We know Satan doesn’t want the family or God’s plans to be successful so he uses sin, disease and ignorance to make children orphans and to keep them in the place of separation from a family. He also keeps them separated from new adoptive families through pride, ignorance, fear, and materialism, which stops people from being willing to follow God’s leading to adopt.
As the body of Christ we do have a mission and a calling from God to be the hands and the feet of God to the orphan (and widow and impoverished) and while some are called to be hands and give, others are called to be feet and go!
I’ll be completely honest… my first response to the personal question to adopt was, “I couldn’t possibly. I already have enough children to care for, love and train up” (I am still there at times). Tim’s response, “I’m not sure I could love a child I haven’t biologically made. I am not sure I’ll connect with them the same way.” What does that tell you about where our hearts and minds were? I was selfishly looking at the immediate ease of my daily life, and Tim was being controlled by fear, that our life wouldn’t be the same or that love might look different or require more of him than he thought he was capable of. Both are sins so neatly disguised as wisdom or prudence.
For a LONG time I wrestled with this one thought, “What is a good or right reason to adopt?” This really bothered me. I thought that there was a ONE right reason and all the rest weren’t as right or might be rooted in sin. But ultimately I began to think about it in another perspective (no doubt the work of the Spirit, because I am just not this insightful)…“What is a good or right reason NOT to adopt.”
Hum… yes, what is a good reason NOT to…
Do I have a reason to exempt us from walking in the road God was leading us? Every reason I could think of left me either flat or shamed.
- I have too many children already… I don’t believe that and knew that is a lie, because either way we would have more.
- We don’t have enough money… we don’t view our money as our own anyway and we are unfaithful to think that if God is leading us to adopt He wouldn't provide the money.
- We aren’t capable of parenting a difficult or hurting child… God is strong in our weaknesses and we all hurt and have difficulties.
- I can’t love a child that isn’t biologically related to me… we love our spouse more than anyone and they aren’t biologically related, our family of God is often closer than biological family.
- I think it is too complicated and takes too much… “Marci, it was complicated to adopt you, but I did it with great joy and sacrifice.” - God
I do think there are some good and right reasons (mental illness, extreme US poverty, and a spouses unwillingness, or that God has called you to another thing that doesn’t allow you to adopt to name a few), but ultimately we are told in 1 John 3:16-18 these words, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
Just some thoughts to chew on.
I would seriously like to discuss this.