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Adoption, adoption, and caring for orphans

by Dan Cruver Published Nov 15, 2010

It has been my experience that many people do not really begin thinking about Adoption theologically until they themselves are involved in adopting (or at least considering adopting) a child. Very often, the consideration to adopt a child precedes the consideration of the truth that God has graciously adopted us to be His children. We usually think adoption before we think Adoption.

So is this a problem? Of course not. It’s natural and right to long for a child, and many people choose adoption for the same reason that couples bear children: in order to be parents. But for all those who are adopting – and have adopted – Together for Adoption desires to enrich your understanding of this act of love by showing how it relates to the theological concept of adoption.

Why, you ask? First, because we are convinced that the more we think about God’s gracious work of adopting us into His family, the more we will see and appreciate His glory, grace, beauty, love, etc. Adoption is first about the glorious God of the universe coming to profoundly needy people in the person of His Son to give us adoption as sons (Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). When we grow in our understanding of who this God of grace is and what He has done to adopt us through Jesus Christ, we will find our love for and pursuit of Him steadily increasing. So, ultimately, we want to see people grow in their enjoyment of God Himself.

Second, if Christians better understand God’s work of adoption, they will find themselves joyfully compelled to extend this same kind of compassion to orphans, both here and abroad. Christians who love the wonderful doctrine of adoption will become increasingly passionate about “visiting orphans in their affliction” (James 1:27), whether through caring for orphans directly or indirectly, adopting a child, or assisting others in the adoption process. A proper theological grounding of horizontal adoption within vertical adoption has profound implications for our understanding of horizontal adoption and for our practice of orphan care (more on this in another post).


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