Was I always on the adoption train with my wife?
No, there was so much to consider like finances, questions about whether we could conceive, what would the adopted child think, and was this truly "our" calling? Did I feel adoption was right….of course….at the right time. All that being said, I had to stop my compartmentalizing of the situation and search the scriptures to see what God says.
What is the husbands role and seeking wise counsel?
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." (Eph 5:25)"Got it" you say? What does that verse truly mean? Christ gave Himself up for the church….His life…the cup did not pass from Him….sacrifice. Jesus was also in prayer continually with the Father.
The final decision is the husband’s right?
"Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ." (Eph 5:21)Husbands are the head of the household, but what does that truly mean? That means the final responsibility falls on our shoulders in regards to all decisions. Does that entail being a dominant force with final say and everyone bows to your will? Absolutely not! First, ultimately we are managers or stewards of our household that will be responsible to Christ. Many times we can be easily swayed to look around us to others for a gauge as to how we are doing. But we have the manual of how we measure up in our management role in the Word of God.
"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Josh 24:15b)To clarify, Christ is head over you, next comes you, and then your wife. So you ultimately are responsible to Christ for decisions of your house. Do you contain all knowledge? No, only God does and that is why we are called to seek wise counsel and hearken to the wisdom of a godly woman (see Prov 31). So when that question arises or the thought of adopting/fostering, go to the Lord, seek wise counsel (your wife included), and then come to a decision. Remember, you should be able to point to Scripture in your decision so that you and your wife may be at peace.
But God made me more level-headed and she gets emotional…
Okay, but my wife gets emotional about orphans and I can’t jump every time she gets emotional about something…I would have 20 kids, 10 puppies, and many other "whims" in the house. Let’s return to God’s Word.
"The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain." (Prov 31:11)
"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." (Prov 18:22)
"Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'" (Gen 2:18).The world tells us that women are on a totally different plane then men, but where the world says just cope with the difference…the Bible says God created the differences. God made Eve as a helper to Adam. Women are not a clone of men, but a compliment. We see the technical aspects and she sees the emotional aspects. We think in the black and white and she sees the color. She dreams it and we build it. Amazing how this works! She is better at child raising and we are great at providing. She has the heartache for the orphan and we have the ability to make it possible.
She is a sister in Christ that has just as much value to God. God may be reaching the "mother" with the call to adoption because He knows her heart is in tune with that call as the maternal one. Husbands, your wives are there to be a helper. God gave them to us for another perspective. As much as you might feel you would have the pangs of desiring a child, she does. Listen to her and then be the encourager, helpmate, and spiritual leader we are called to be.
I know there are "what if" questions like….
But we have circumstances…
How can we swing this financially? If one of you needed $5000 to live in 30 days, then you would find a way to cut costs or make it happen. The same with the orphan…is it important?
What if we wait for natural children, maybe we could foster/adopt later? Is that your decision without prayer and counsel?. If your wife has an impulse for a good thing (helping, adopting, serving, etc) maybe we should stop the "we will do it later" mentality and pray. Satan does not give warm-hearted, kind or sacrificial impulses. Don’t be like the followers of Jesus (Matthew 8:19-22) who gave circumstances as the excuses they could not follow Christ right then.
What about the questions from others? Honestly, stop worrying what others might say or think. We live in a world where children are viewed as a burden (opposite of what the Bible says). A world that flaunts the less children you have the more you can do (not the sacrificial life of the Bible). The Word says, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." (Ps 127:3).
The timing is wrong! I guess God made a mistake and gave your wife a heart for the orphan a few years early? Is He not sovereign? Does He not take care of even the lilies of the field?
We sponsor an overseas child, so we are doing our part. There is nothing wrong with sponsorship through one of the Christian organizations out there, but cutting a check (more likely auto drafting) $30 a month to "love" a child is not sacrificially, biblical love.
What about birth order or how they will effect or family? See our post on birth order here. As for the future effects on other children that is in the department of God's sovereignty and prayer. There are many other outside influences that also affect your children, but we are to walk with them instructing them in the Word of God and love. The Word also does not say "care for the orphan" only if the kids are gone (James 1:27).
I even went so far as to think that maybe the foster kid would think that we only fostered because we didn’t have any kids of our own. Pretty detailed thinking, but again that is the way a guy thinks. We can spend our whole life with "what-ifs" and truly get nothing done for the kingdom of God.
Trust me, I was that guy.
"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice." (Prov 12:15)
So is adoption for everyone? Yes, everyone should be involved in adoption somewhere, somehow. The Scriptures do not say "Only certain people care for the orphan", but calls for ALL believers to. If God isn't calling your family to adopt then come alongside a family as a support, invest time, invest love, but sacrifice more than the price of a dinner. If you have the ability to foster or adopt then do it!
Pray about it….together. Go to God's Word. And seek your wife's wise counsel. ;)
Posted by Brian
To God be the Glory!