I humbly admit I have a bit of a bias when it comes to reading a book on the subject of adoption. You see, my wife and I made the decision to adopt our daughter a little over three years ago, despite the concerns posed by many, the questions we had about taking a pre-teen into our home to be our daughter, financial worries about the cost of the adoption process, among many other issues we wrestled with. One thing is certain, and that is we were confident God had called us to adopt. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions of our lives.
Adoption is not an easy road to walk and not everyone is called to take a child into their home to be theirs. With that said, all believers are called by God to be involved in taking care of the orphans and the fatherless. Russell Moore, in his helpful little book called, Adoption: What Joseph of Nazareth Can Teach Us about This Countercultural Choice, drives home the importance of helping those in need in a way that will assuredly be a “kick in the pants” for some and a source of reassurance for others that have become engaged on this important issue.
Moore uses Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, as the example of what someone might face who adopts or dares to go against the cultural tide to care for the plethora of children who need a home. He notes the actions of Joseph often take a back seat when we examine the birth of Jesus. This is unfortunate because we can learn quite a bit from how Joseph followed the leading of God and stepped in as the adopted father of Jesus. Moore pertinently comments, “Joseph’s fatherhood is significant for us precisely because of the way the gospel anchors it to the fatherhood of God himself.” He goes on to rightly note, “Joseph is unique in one sense. He is called to provide for and protect the Christ of God. But in other ways Joseph is not unique at all. All of us, as followers of Christ, are called to protect children.”
The Church and her leaders often write and speak on the need to evangelize. With that said, we often forget that reaching out to those in need is a function of evangelism and sharing the gospel, be that the unwed teenage mother, who is scared to death and feels the only option is an abortion; or whether that is an abused child, who needs a loving place and parents who will care and protect; or whether that means financially supporting organizations around the world that reach out to children, who sit in orphanages waiting for someone to lend them a loving hand and a permanent home. Moore drives this reality home throughout this book and I truly hope the reader will pick up on that urgent message and will in turn help transform the lives of these children in the manner God has called them.
We live in a culture that believes children are a burden and a drag on our ability to enjoy life to the fullest. When children get in the way, they are discarded. This societal thought process is antithetical to what we find in Scripture, namely God’s continued call to His people to care for orphans and the fatherless. As Moore has demonstrated through the life of Joseph and his care for our Savior, reaching out sometimes comes at a financial, emotional, and even relational cost to those who answers God’s call. In the end, however, doing the work God has called us, whether that is adopting a child or helping those who God has called to take such a step, is what the gospel is all about.
I truly enjoyed this small yet helpful book by Dr. Moore. It definitely is a must-read and I encourage those who do take the time to read it to look for ways to share the love of God with children, who so desperately need help and hope. If your church is not engaged in helping the innocent, speak with your pastor and church leaders about ways to get involved as a local community of believers. If God has not called you to adopt, then reach out financially in whatever way possible to help those who are setting aside the comforts of life to help a child. God has called all of us to this mission, and Dr. Moore has provided a call to action. Will you answer the call? I trust you will, and those who read this book will be motivated to do so also.