Adopted as God’s Children
Have you ever had the chance to watch one of those emotional social media videos of a family adopting a child into their family? Typically, you see a well-dressed child sitting at a table and a judge in a black robe behind this monstrosity of a desk. Seated next to the child is the pre-adoptive parents. At the back of the courtroom are smiling faces of grandparents, family and friends who have come to support this exciting event.
Many questions are asked by the judge of the adoptive parents and adoptee. And then something to this affect is said: “The person proposed to be adopted shall have all the rights of a child and heir of the adopting parent or parents and shall be subject to the duties of a child to him or them”. Wow! All rights and privileges deliberately given.
November is not only when we celebrate Thanksgiving but is also National Adoption Month. I had a hard time choosing what to write and feel like I should be writing about Thanksgiving but also really wanted to write something about adoption. When you don’t know which to write about, do both! Our family is thankful for adoption. It is a beautiful thing that points believers in Jesus to a greater reality: our adoption into the family of God. During a month (and week), where we are focusing our hearts on thankfulness for God’s good gifts, remember that you are adopted into the family of God.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”. Ephesians 1:3
Here are some thoughts that adoption highlights about our relationship as sons and daughters of God.
- You were chosen.
There is nothing accidental about adoption. It is a very intentional decision with ramifications that must be weighed beforehand. Adoption is a legally binding agreement between the adoptive parent and adoptee. There is a choice that is made that says, “I choose you”. Adoption says, “I love you as a son or daughter”. Occasionally, my 6 year old daughter will ask about her adoption. What she wants to hear is affirmation of our love for parents her. I will say something to the affect of, “Out of all the girls in all of the world, I would choose you a million times over”.
I love the words of Ephesians 1:4: “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world”. No explanation of why He chose us. He just did! God adopted you into His family but it was not because of what you could add. Instead, God brought you into the family despite who you were. There is huge comfort in this truth. I imagine God saying the same thing that I say to my daughter when I need affirmation of His love: “I chose you”.
- You are family.
At the moment a family court judge declares the child part of the family, the legal status is changed. The child now has the same last name and with it comes all the rights and privileges of being a part of the family. Adoption at the core represents a new family. They are officially sons and daughters. They are not second-class children or inferior to biological children.
Our adoption into the family of God affords us the right to call God our Father (Romans 8:15). This is a term that is personal and relational. We are called “children of God” (John 1:12; I John 3:1). We belong. We take on the name and identity of God’s children. I love the line in Jesus, Thank You: “Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table”. Through Jesus, we have been given a new family and a place at the table.
- You are secure.
A child’s status in a family is not based on their performance. On their good days, they are not children and on their not so good days, outcasts. Adoption gives them a new name and with that name comes security. For our two kids, they were given the last name of Warde. Nothing can change this. They are Wardes on their best and worst days. They are loved on their best and worst days. The relationship is secure.
Your adoption into God’s family is not based on your performance. God does not love you more when you do right and have your act together. Your relationship is based on the unmerited love of God and the righteousness of Christ on your account.
- You belong.
There is nothing like bringing a new child into the family. The anticipation is killer. Everything has to be perfect, and preparations are made to welcome them into the family. They get a bedroom, a place at the table and most importantly a place in the family’s heart. Love is shared to the newest member. With adoption, you have a place to call home and a family which you claim.
In our spiritual adoption to Christ, there is belonging. You are His. Ephesians 1:5 says that we have been adopted “to himself”. There is a place for you with our Father. We are not strangers or house guests. You are His and He is yours.
Take minute and contemplate the words of Paul talking about the spiritual blessings of being adopted into God’s family.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6