One of my favorite things about writing online is answering the questions so many want to know, but feel weird asking–especially when the answer allows me to talk about my Savior! For those of you who have been following, we are over half-way through Galatians today. Though not yet finished, this is perhaps my favorite subject in the book. To join me as I continue delving into this scripture, look to the right of your screen–or the bottom if you’re on you mobile device–and click the follow button. Let’s jump right into Galatians 4!
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But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
This post is loosely based on John Piper’s sermon, “Adoption: The Heart of the Gospel”
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A few weeks before the wedding, people began loving to ask questions about the next part of my life: Where are you two going to be living? Where are you going on your honeymoon? What’s the plan for kids?
It’s always funny to be asked the latter. People tend to ask, before immediately covering their mouths in embarrassment of asking such a personal question. Yet, as we tell our sweet friends, Austin and I are not shy of being asked this question. The answer? I have my
ideas and he has his, but we will ultimately bring children into this world and our home from the time He tells us to begin until the time He tells us we’re finished. That may look like one child, and it may look like many.
One thing does remain sure: we feel called to not only bear our own biological children, but adopt.
You see, while neither of us were adopted into a family on this earth, we–along with all other children of God–have been taken into The Father’s family via the blood of Jesus Christ. We cannot imagine a world where we do not replicate that reality in our own little family. On a much smaller scale, I hope to go out of my way to bring an unwanted child into my family as my Savior went out of His way to bring me into His Father’s home. Here are a few reasons why we feel this way as they pertain to our own adoption.
This seemingly grim sentence brings a smile to my face like no other. Adoption is in no way suppose to be an easy feat. There’s no getting around this. I’m reminded of my adopted friend’s story. Let’s call her Kathryn. Her parents had to fight to acquire custody even after she was already seemingly theirs. Her biological father–a man in no way prepared to care for a child–juggled the idea of giving up custody back and fourth, placing her family in a long period of prayerfully waiting and wondering. That is what makes her adoption so beautiful. Her family fought through months of hardship for the opportunity to love her for the rest of her days. Their fight for adoption cost them time, money, and heartache.
And still the legal red tape surrounding her adoption, though it seemed long, hard, and complicated, was not stained with blood. Kathryn’s parents did not give their own lives for her that she may have the opportunity to live. Yet the red blood of Jesus who gave His own life for us, is what our Father willingly paid for our adoptions. If we can claim adoption is costly for us, it cost everything for Him. How beautiful it might be to feel an inkling of what Jesus felt when fighting to bring in a child. Not easy. Not fun. But nonetheless beautiful. He was stripped of His heavenly status, beaten for our transgression, and murdered for the mere opportunity to love us for eternity.
It’s Blessed with the Pouring Out of Sonship
Yet the story doesn’t end here. Let me clarify what the word “sonship” refers to. It doesn’t change my identity as a woman or make me any less-than. In the context of when this passage was written, the word sonship referred to the adopted child gaining full status of any other child regardless of biological make up. With Jesus’ rising from the grave, our punishment was paid and defeated! We can now be adopted into His Father’s presence with no restrictions. Further, that presence is granted with the ability to call our God, “Abba, Father.” John Piper describes this significance as follows:
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“What is remarkable about [this text] is the term abba. It is an Aramaic word. Why then does Paul use it, transliterated, in [this letter] written in Greek? The answer is that it was the way Jesus spoke to his Father, in spite of the fact that virtually no one in Jewish culture referred to God with this endearing word abba… [Abba translates to a form of father that is closely related to ‘daddy’.] Therefore, in adopting us, God give us the very Spirit of his Son and grants us to feel the affections of belonging to the very family of God.
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Someone’s status as child is not more apparent than when they look at their mother or father and utter “mommy” or “daddy.” That’s exactly what Jesus called His Father, and that’s what we now have the opportunity to do.
Orphanages and group homes everywhere are stacked with children who the world deems as unwanted. Their cries for a parent are met with our earth’s inability to care for them in the way every child deserves to be cared for. On the contrary, I don’t deserve to be cared for by God. The chasm between my Father and me is far greater than the distance between my future children and me–physically, culturally, morally.The enemy whispers that I am unwanted, but I can look unto Christ and see that He chose to go out of His way and make me His own.
So to answer the world’s lingering question, adoption is in the future of the Groves. That’s not the cool part though. The cool part is that it is in our present. We have been adopted by the only perfect parent to have ever existed. We did not deserve it and do things to prove that daily. He chased after us regardless. No matter when or how many kids God calls us to raise, if He tarries, we hope to demonstrate His love for us by bringing in children and making them our own.
“He has done it himself. He knows what it costs. And he stands ready to support us all the way to the end.” -John Piper