by Bill Fix
Over the last week and a half, I helped complete a guardianship and an adoption case. While these two cases involved different circumstances, what they both shared is that a child needed responsible adults to care for them in the absence of parents, whether stepping in as the adoptive parents or legal guardians. These parents and guardians should be commended for their willingness to accept the sometimes thankless job of raising someone else’s child. I should think that if their motives or love for these children would ever be questioned that the answer is obvious—they have volunteered to take on additional responsibilities when it was not required of them. They have chosen to raise these children because that’s in the “best interests of the child.”
On a spiritual level, we all have the opportunity to become adopted children of God. It makes no difference our nationality, race, skin color, gender, background, religious upbringing, affluence, physical beauty, or family—if we wish to be children of God, we can choose that life, name, and reward for ourselves. “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:15-17).
Such an adoption is clearly in our best interests, as it entitles us to being heirs of God. But as adopted children, what is expected of us? “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom. 8:12-14). God’s children are led by Him, choosing to set aside our wants and preferences to be obedient.
Have you been adopted by God? If so, are you complying with the adoptee’s terms spelled out by Paul in Romans 8? We must allow God to lead us according to His complete will, not merely hand select certain provisions that we choose to honor and redefine our relationship with God on our own terms. What adoptive parent would let the child decide how he or she should be raised? Who would think that to be in the child’s best interests?