This time last year, my wife and I were adjusting to life as new parents. We had gone on the epic journey that is adoption and we were discovering what it felt like to be the proud parents of a 2 year old boy.
Now one year on, I have been reflecting on this journey and what that means to us as a family, specifically to myself as a dad but also in my relationship as a son of God. I would like to share some of these reflections with you.
My wife and I had wanted a family for many years, but for reasons we still do not fully understand it had not happened for us. We had no medical issues, we had taken all the tests, yet nothing we tried seemed to make any difference. We just couldn’t crack the code.
As a man, I take my responsibilities very seriously, and when I seemed unable to give my wife what she most wanted, a child, I felt an utter failure. It affected my faith, my work and my self esteem.
We tried to spiritualise our struggle by saying it was obviously not ‘God’s will’ for us to have a child, but that just made us angry and anyway why was our desire for a family still so strong? One Sunday morning we arrived at church, and saw a leaflet about adoption. There was literally one leaflet there, and we have never seen another one in the church since that day. That one leaflet was enough for us to know that we needed to fight for our family, and fight we did.
As the journey progressed, my wife and I travelled to another part of the country and we found the son God had chosen for us, we adopted him, brought him home and he became a part of our family. It was not that simple, but you get the point.
For me as a dad, I have to say my understanding of spiritual adoption is now very profound. In Ephesians 1:5 we read “In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…” When we chose to adopt our son he had to do nothing other than to be with us. Our little boy has never had to earn our love, or our approval, or even our acceptance. He is just loved, because he is loved. It’s his reality, and he naturally embraces it every day without any doubt or over-analysis.
Our Father God, has adopted us simply because it is His pleasure and will to do so. There is nothing that we need to do to earn His love, or His approval, or even His acceptance. We just need to wake up every morning to the reality that we are chosen, loved and eternally adopted into His family through the full work of Jesus Christ.
Every Christian dad that I know always says that they understood the love of the Father more when they themselves first became dads. I am very sure that this is true, it is certainly true for me. But what has also happened to me is this; whereas I once understood the theology of God’s adoption, I now know the deep intimate reality of it in a very personal way. Adoption is my reality, I don’t doubt it, I no longer over-analyse it. I just entirely accept it without reservation.
God loved you and me so much that he came to find us and that was not just by travelling to another part of the country. He did this so that we would become His very own adopted sons.
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Image Credit: Tim Mossholder