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Why the Theology of Adoption Matters to Singles

by Dennae Pierre Published Jun 23, 2012

When Christians hear the word “adoption” they think of someone adopting a child. Our prayer and efforts at Together for Adoption is to see that word reclaimed in the church. We want believers to think of adoption first and foremost as one of the incredible graces that come with salvation. Adoption is an incredible privilege and gift to believers. Through adoption, we are brought into God’s family and made co-heirs with Christ. In adoption we realize that we do not just stand forgiven and blameless before a terrifyingly holy and righteous God, but we can call that Almighty God, Father. We can pray to God because Jesus, our brother, is our advocate.

That is why adoption is incredibly relevant to every believer. In my last post, I wrote about why adoption matters to those who don’t/won’t/will never adopt.  This time, my goal is to convince singles to join us for our national Together for Adoption conference in Atlanta.

One of the many things I love about Together for Adoption is that we have Jason Cornwell on staff who is currently single and speaks passionately about why singles should care about adoption. Our last conference was mostly full of married couples. Why? Why does one of the essential doctrines of the church draw crowds of married couples? Why do singles gather together to listen to teaching on sanctification, justification, atonement, and election, but not to learn about adoption?

I think the answer is that Together for Adoption still has a lot of work ahead of us as we try to highlight the word “adoption” in the life of every believer. Singles do not gather to learn about adoption, because that word means taking a child into their family. A young college student, a single man in his 20’s or 30’s, a widow in her 50’s, young professionals climbing the corporate ladder, are not thinking about adoption… but they should be. They should be thinking about the glorious riches that are their inheritance in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1), they should be thinking about what it means to be a Son of God, what it means to be saved into the community, the family of God. They should have a deeply, personal connection to the word “adoption” because it is one of the very gifts that allow a believer not only to stand before the Lord trembling, but to draw near to him like a child does their father.

It is for this very reason, that we thought about singles when we designed our 2012 Together for Adoption. Single Christians are not Christians on the sideline who need to wait until they get married to “jump into the game.” Singleness is a gift, given by God, to you, for the purpose of the church (1 Corinthians 7). Some of us are called to singleness for a lifetime, but most of us for a season, and that season should be strategically spent serving the Lord and his mission in a way that will have to look different once you are married. My husband, Vermon (married me at 32) and Jason Cornwell have both done an excellent job of using their gift of singleness for the church and were very helpful in giving us feedback that would make this conference incredibly relevant to singles.

So what can you expect? Our general sessions are packed full of good, deep, theological teaching. They aren’t about marriage or parenting and the general sessions aren’t even about orphans.  They will be deep exegetical teaching of the 5 adoption passages that we see in Paul’s books. We have brilliant, deeply theological pastors and teachers speaking like Reddit Andrews and Dan Cruver who are both contributing to Christian scholarship in a way that will impact generations to come. Every time they speak my brain hurts for days and my spirit burns for weeks as I think about how to bring the glorious truths that I heard in their passages to bear in my life and the lives of those around me who don’t know this precious gospel I have been saved to. I believe the same will be true of you.

We have breakout sessions that are designed to help us then “do” orphan care (not only adoption, but orphan care). Jason Cornwell is teaching a workshop called “Flyin’ Solo: Singles and Adoption” in which he will talk about how understanding the theology of adoption opens up all sorts of doors for orphan care.  There will be workshops focused on supporting and mentoring bio families trying to reconcile with their children (SAFE families), ones focused on crisis pregnancy counseling, creating a culture of adoption in your church, cultivating indigenous adoption and foster care overseas, etc, etc. There are many choices that will allow you to be involved in orphan care if you feel like adoption is only something you would consider when you got married. And even if orphan care doesn’t interest you, deepening your understanding of the theology of adoption will be incredibly valuable to your faith and you can apply it to any Christian ministry you feel led to do. So join us! I promise I won’t try to set you up with anyone (unless you are Jason Cornwell), because a single Christian is one of the most powerful tools the church has to do great frontline work for Jesus.

Up Next: Why the Theology of Adoption Matters for Cultivating a Diverse Church

  • Katie Axelson

    Maybe I’m an exception, but I am a single (hopefully for a season) who thinks about adoption. Thank you for keeping us in mind!


  • Dennae Pierre

    Katie, I am so happy to hear that. My husband and I discussed adoption and orphan care on our first date. I was able to do broader work with orphans as a single and travel in ways I can’t during this season of my life. I love how the Lord uses singleness in his body. Hope you can join us in Atlanta!

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