Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Adopt or Have My Own? - Candice Watters

It's understandable and commendable that you want to adopt when you get married.

Showing compassionate love for orphans (and widows) plays no small part in the kingdom of God. In fact, it's the mark of true religion. James 1:27 says, "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."

There's no question that your desire to adopt is in line with God's will for believers. So where does that leave your plan to adopt instead of having your own children? The best place to look for answers to your question about preventing birth is Scripture. Nothing in the Bible suggests that some married couples are set apart to not have children. Never does the charge to care for orphans and widows come at the expense of natural children. The ministry of adoption is in addition to biological offspring. Throughout Scripture, natural children are always presented as a blessing to be embraced. As such, biblical marriage presupposes an openness to the blessing of children:

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate (Psalm 127:3-5). See also Psalm 128:1-3.

Even Jesus' end-times warning (Luke 21:23-24, Mark 13:17) to pregnant women and nursing mothers says only that pregnancy in those days will be a grievous burden, making it difficult for the mothers to flee to safety. In the foretold worst of times, Jesus says matter-of-factly that pregnant women will suffer, not that they should avoid pregnancy. Nothing in Scripture negates the creation mandate to be fruitful and multiply or the status of children as evidence of God's blessing.

A primary purpose for the one-flesh union of husband and wife is stated unequivocally in Malachi 2:15:

Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

Until the second half of the 20th century, deliberate childlessness wasn't technologically feasible. Only since the advent of the pill and widespread birth control have couples been able to say yes to sex and no to children. For all the centuries prior, married couples who took in orphans said yes to both biological and adopted children.

One other thing you might consider: Though it's hard to imagine on this side of marriage, you may find your mind — and heart — changing once you're married. There's something amazing about the possible miracle of new life appearing as a result of sexual oneness with your husband. It's a joy unparalleled; a partnership from the one-flesh union with the creator of the universe.

Besides, when you are married, it won't just be up to you. The decision to adopt or have your own children and adopt will necessarily involve your husband.

Some of the happiest couples I know are those that had some of their own kids before enlarging their families through adoption. Then there are the many friends who, though eager to conceive, found themselves infertile and decided to adopt. In many of these cases (though not all), natural pregnancies eventually did happen, after the adoptions went through.

I would simply suggest that you continue to hold this issue before the Lord in prayer, stay open to promptings of the Holy Spirit and try not to let your understandable grief over the multitudes of uncared for, abused and abandoned children crowd out the possibility that God may want you also to conceive and bear children of your own.

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