|The kids welcoming Baby Calvin home from the hospital.|
I wanted to begin my posts on adoption this year with a few of the reasons why we welcome children into our home. Adoption is about children, after all.1. God says to have them. Did you know that of the 613 commandments found in the Law of Moses, the first is to "be fruitful and increase in number" (Genesis 1:28)? I value everything God's Word says, but also want to acknowledge the emphasis that the first command deserves.
2. The older we get, the more my husband and I realize what a waste much of what we invest ourselves in really is, in the greater scheme of things. In other words, we try to have an eternal perspective on what we choose to invest our time and resources in. I love buying a new car. There's a real buzz that comes from that, but 2 or 3 years later, it isn't new anymore. I love peace and quiet and being alone, but then I remember that God said it isn't good for man to be alone. Kids just seem to make it more difficult to have time for studying my Bible, reading other Christian living books, making time for worship, and having the money to help support ministries of the church. That may be true, but God says that He delights not in sacrifice or offerings, but in a contrite heart and in obedience to Him.
Our hobbies are not eternal. The time we waste watching television, we can never get back. Only relationships will transcend this world. Our relationship with God, our family, our church family, our neighbors. Even my relationship with the guy who carries out my groceries for me is more important than the car I drive, the book I'm reading, my checkbook balance, or my mood (and yes I have to remind myself of this each and every time I walk out of the store with him because otherwise my inclination toward solitude ruins a perfectly good opportunity to rub elbows with another human being.)
What's my point? That children have eternal souls and are called a blessing by God. What better investment of our time and resources could there possibly be? Parenting is the hardest thing I've ever done. It's harder than doing calculus or trying to teach anything to Gen X college students. It's harder than any physical training or even passing a kidney stone (yes, I know this first hand.) Parenting is unrelenting. You're never not parenting. It's non-stop, 24/7, never a day off. And messing it up is not an option so you're constantly praying for grace and guidance, apologizing for your short-comings, and seeking help from others. Many times you feel like a complete failure, but you press on through it all, because at the end of the age there will be these living souls that you influenced for the good or the bad and you can never for all eternity go back and undo what you've done or do what you neglected to do with them while on earth. Sound daunting? It is, but God seldom asks us to do anything easy that we are already naturally inclined to.
3. Kids have a great sanctifying effect on us. The goal for the Christian is to become holy, we call this sanctification. We are supposed to embrace those things that help us become more sanctified and shun those things which tempt us to sin. Our children continually bring our sins before us in a way that we somehow suppress on our own. Sometimes we fail to see our own sin in a specific area until we see it in our children. Other times it is our reaction to our children that shows us how far short of God's standard we fall. Our children drive us to our knees in prayer- for them, for us, for God's wisdom and for His grace. They force our attention off ourselves and cause us to be more others-centered. They teach us about the unconditional love God has for His children. So, if having children helps us to become more like Christ, then why wouldn't we desire that?
4. Kids are a LOT of FUN! Our children bring us so much joy! They provide us with so many opportunities to thank God for blessing us with them. They bring laughter even in the midst of sorrowful circumstances. Children truly make the heart glad in a way that nothing else on earth does.