We live in a society that hates children. That is a startling statement—but there is no way that it can be denied by anyone who has been paying attention. Voluntary childlessness, the worldwide pandemic of abortion, widespread divorce depriving children of both parents in the home, and the child abuse of “gender transitioning” all testify to this fact.
On the other hand, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a society that loves children. If there is any place on the planet where children should be loved, welcomed, served, taught, protected, and cared for, it is the church. After all, we follow the One who, when others around Him found children a nuisance, “was indignant,” and said, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14). Children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127), a precious stewardship entrusted to us by God to train in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and to raise as disciples of Jesus.
A particular way the church can serve and show our love for children is through adoption and foster care. Besides being a wonderful evangelistic opportunity, adoption and foster care makes sense for Christians, because we ourselves have been adopted as sons and daughters into the family of God. Scripture speaks of our salvation as the Father adopting spiritual orphans into His family, bringing them into His own household to be His sons and daughters (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:4–7; Ephesians 2:19).
Outside of Christ, we were spiritual orphans. We had no one to look after our spiritual well-being, no provision for our spiritual needs, no protection from spiritual danger, no hope, no prospects, and no future but divine judgment. We were unwanted, vulnerable, and belonging nowhere. But God has been merciful to us.
Once, we were not a people (1 Peter 2:10), “But now,” Peter says, “you are the people of God. You had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” Through Christ, God has made children of wrath children of God (Ephesians 2:3; cf. John 1:12); sons of disobedience have become sons of a Heavenly Father (Ephesians 2:2; cf. Matthew 5:45). He has taken spiritual strangers and outcasts and taken us in as His own.
In light of that precious reality, we ought to consider how we can show to others the grace we have been shown through the ministry of adoption and foster care. We have been shown such extravagant grace by no less a benefactor as the God of Heaven; for some of us, the effect of that grace should cause us to consider whether the Lord would have us take these unwanted children in as our own sons and daughters, just as our Father has made us His.
Some may be eager and able to serve in this way. For others, in God’s providence, adoption or foster care may not be possible. If this is your situation, you may still be able to come alongside those who are able—to pray for them, to serve them both during and after the process, and perhaps even to support them financially. Whether adopting and fostering or serving families who are, the church ought to lead the charge in serving those children who do not yet have a family. In a society that hates children, the adopted sons and daughters of God should be those most eager to love and serve them.