You Say You’re Pro-Life, but What Are You Doing about It?
Most recently noted by the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System in the United States, there are roughly 400,000 children currently in foster care. Considering that there are roughly 210 million Christians in America, the math is simple. If every Christian household rescued a child and fostered them, there would be no children left in the foster care system.
I know it’s not that simple — but allow me to shed some light on the situation at hand.
Our primary commission as believers in Jesus Christ is to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), and then to “go therefore, and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). God was blatant with His outline for how He wants His followers to live — He tells us to raise babies and then share what He has taught with them and others, inspiring them to follow Jesus as well.
What better way to obey these commands than to rescue and nurture children who have been misplaced from their blood-related families, sharing Jesus with them?
Leaving home is a traumatic experience for many children. Statistics show that of the 40% of youth in the foster care system, 80% experience serious behavioral or mental health issues. John DeGarmo, Ed.D, founder of The Foster Care Institute, concluded that many children in foster care find themselves asking these questions: Why am I here? Did I do something wrong? Do my parents not love me anymore?
The best answer to these deep-rooted, emotionally-charged life questions can be answered through the saving knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God loves children; He cares for them with a special, tender, Fatherly love. There is careful attention that Scripture dedicates to raising children in the Lord and influencing them in the ways of our God — since children are of so much value to Him.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” (Psalm 127:3-5)
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13).
These kids, who are abandoned, lost, and searching would be much better off being loved on and poured into by a family of believers — one that has the intention of sharing the transformative love of Jesus with them — than by another family not surrendered to the Lord. We read in the Psalms that we are to “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed” (Psalm 82:3).
It is our duty as Christians; it is our calling.
Unfortunately, the nature of the foster care system is tattered and broken, due to the unpredictable array of possible challenges. There are often many different placement switches to different homes, creating a cycle of attachment and detachment — since nothing is truly permanent. Many children also end up in the system for way longer than initially intended, due to various circumstances. Not to mention, kids aging out of the system before finding a home is very common.
It’s sad and difficult for everyone involved — on the foster parents’ end as well. There are lots of heart-wrenching emotions involved, including dealing with the potential behavioral and mental health issues. Fostering a child takes up a huge physical, emotional, and financial dent in your life, which is why most people veer away from the call.
But as Christians, we are guaranteed suffering and heartache in this life, in order to prove that our God can carry us through. I think it is our duty to step into these roles as foster parents, as scary or inconvenient as they may be, because we might be the only hope to plant seeds of the gospel in these kids’ lives. Again, as Psalm 82 reminds us, it is our job to care for the fatherless and saturate them with the love of Jesus.
So, you say you’re “pro-life,” but we live in a world where one of the primary alternatives to getting an abortion — our foster care systems and adoption programs — are underfunded and often unsustainable. WE, the followers of Jesus, need to be the ones to step in and foster these children, taking them in, and sharing Jesus with them unconditionally. Remember, if every Christian family in America took in just ONE foster child, there would be none left. We have the ability, as a unified body of Christ, to take these children under our wings and pour the love of Jesus on them like they have yet to experience.