At Immanuel, we have several families in the process of adopting children. As a pastor, this excites me. I love seeing families welcome children into their home, and I love seeing these children connect with the body of Christ. As our church family welcomes these new kiddos, I’ve been thinking about what motivates families to adopt children. From my perspective, the experiences and the motivations of each family are unique. However, I have observed several common motivations. Here are 6 reasons why a follower of Jesus Christ may chose to adopt:
- A Theological Motivation. The Bible says that God adopted us into his family (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5). Our sin separated us from God and left us as orphans. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can be adopted into God’s family. This is a remarkable gospel truth that motivates many to adopt.
- A Religious Motivation. I realize that for many the word “religion” conjures up negative thoughts about legalistic, man-made rules. However, James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.” Christianity has always been a religion that cared about orphans.
- A Missiological Motivation. Missiology is the study of missions. I know many families feel adoption is one of the ways God calls their family to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). These families may never preach the gospel in China or New York City. But in the act of bringing a child into their home, they are engaging the mission.
- A Humanitarian Motivation. The tragic reality is that there are many children in the United States and around the world that do not have a family. This reality should concern every follower of Jesus. Many who adopt do so out of love for the least among us, which is certainly a “Christian” motivation (Matthew 25:31-46, Luke 10:25-37).
- A Political Motivation. Forgive the crassness of the term “political.” What I am referring to here is the pro-life position. Many evangelicals are rightly concerned about abortion. God does knit us together in the womb (Psalm 139:13). The Holy Spirit regarded Mary’s “fetus” as a person (Luke 1-2). We are right to speak for the unborn. But if we are truly pro-life we must also care about those who are born and unwanted. Adoption is a pro-life political issue.
- A Biological Motivation. Some are physically not able to have children. Infertility is a painful and frustrating experience. However, we should never see adoption as the next-best-option. When this broken world leaves a couple physically unable to have children, we should celebrate adoption instead of seeing it as merely a back up plan.
One disclaimer. I do not think every Christian family is called to adopt. I also think Christian families can care about this issue and take positive action without actually adopting children (praying for families who adopt, helping with the expense of adoption, providing child care for families who adopt, having baby showers for families who adopt, etc). The only non-option for the follower of Jesus is calloused indifference to the least among us.
Originally published July 27, 2015 on landoncoleman.com.