Saturday, May 10, 2014

Would You Give Up Your Child?

It breaks my heart to hear of mothers who love their child so deeply they decide to give up that child to offer them a better life. A mother who lives in poverty or in otherwise dismal circumstances may hand over her baby to be adopted into a privileged and loving home, praying that the child will experience the security, love, and opportunities she never had. Often this is truly a self-sacrificing act of agape love, the mother denying herself the experience of knowing and being loved by her child.

Often the mother’s prayers are answered, and the child does benefit from being loved and raised by the adoptive parents. There may even be a reunion someday of the natural mother and child, if not in this world than in Heaven.

When Moses was three months old, his mother could no longer hide him from the Egyptians ordered to slaughter male Jewish infants. She could have clung to him in fear, but instead she set him afloat in a basket, trusting God for the outcome (Hebrews 11:23). God not only spared Moses’ life but allowed his mother to raise him as a wet nurse for Pharaoh’s daughter, and He placed Moses where he would later be in a position to deliver the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 1:15-22; 2:1-10).

But sadly, a mother may give up her child hoping or praying for the best but resulting in the worst. In impoverished countries, families with many mouths to feed may give up an oldest daughter for a few dollars to spend on the other children, and for empty promises to that daughter of education, employment, or even marriage. Yet it turns out to be human trafficking, and realization of this unspoken truth may plague the parents with guilt and drive a wedge between them. In this circumstance, desperation fosters denial, and the parents are victims too, yet not to the extent that is the girl who is sold into slavery.

Scripture speaks of an even more extreme situation, a terrible form of God’s judgment in which parents can survive in captivity and famine only by eating the flesh of their own offspring. Even considering such an awful act is not possible unless the parents have been totally corrupted by depraved evil and wickedness, which starts with disregard for God’s commandments (Deuteronomy 28:53-58).

But what of situations in which a mother gives up her child for her own convenience? In its most socially acceptable form, a wealthy mother may send her child away to boarding school for long periods of time, seeing him only on special holidays, leaving her free to pursue world travel or a glamorous social life. Or, a career mom may relegate child-rearing responsibilities to a full-time nanny so that she can attain fame, prestige and fortune.

This is not meant to question the advantages of boarding school in certain circumstances or to say that mothers should not work, as children can benefit from both of these situations as long as they are balanced with the love and nurture that only parents can provide (Ephesians 6:1-4; Titus 2:4). The Proverbs 31 woman is industrious and entrepreneurial, making and selling garments and cultivating fields, yet she blesses her family and household with loving care and her own Godly example.

The world tends not only to accept extreme forms of a mother giving up her child for the sake of lifestyle or career, but to celebrate and applaud them. However, if the child is deprived of the mother’s love and feels abandoned, he may develop psychological problems and act out with promiscuity, alcohol or drug abuse, or breaking the law.

An even worse situation would be one in which a mother wants to please a new boyfriend by throwing her teen out on the street or abandoning her children, favoring her new (and often temporary) relationship over the flesh-and-blood bond between mother and child (Hosea 2:4-5). Or, caught in the grip of addiction, the mother herself is enslaved and abandons her child, driven only by the need to feed her habit (Proverbs 20:1).

Jesus said that in the end times, evil will prevail to the extent that “the love of many shall wax cold(Matthew 24:12). The most universally experienced and deepest form of human love is that of a mother for her child, yet even that natural affection disappears when people deny the existence of God and turn their minds and hearts over to evil (Romans 1:31; 2 Timothy 3:3).

If it has taken you 2 minutes to read this far, during that time about 4 to 6 women in the United States alone have given up their unborn babies to abortion, cutting off the life of that child before they even make their earthly entrance. A survey showed that about 86% of abortions are done for the mother’s convenience.  But the mother’s choice leaves no choice at all for the child.

These unborn babies are safely in the arms of Jesus (Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16), but they will never have the opportunity to experience life on this earth or to touch the lives of others. Their mothers may suffer short-term side effects, infertility, long-term medical or psychological complications, or even death. Many Christians cry out and wonder why God is not judging America for sacrificing unborn children, and yet the loss of these innocent lives and consequences for the mothers is in itself a form of judgment (Romans 6:23).

Organizations such as Planned Parenthood may tend to minimize the risks of abortion and deny the personhood of the unborn child, referring to them as a lump of tissue. If current rates continue, 35% of all women of reproductive age in the United States today will have had an abortion by age 45, according to estimates of the National Abortion Federation.

God knows and loves every child from the moment they are conceived (Psalm 139:13-16), giving each of them unique characteristics, talents, and purpose. Children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3-5), designed to bless our lives and to fulfill His perfect will, and entrusted to our care (Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13). But if our child takes the wrong path, may we have the faith to “give up” our child to God, so that His perfect will be done in their lives, however He may choose to accomplish that in His perfect timing and ways (Romans 8:28; Hebrews 12:5-11). Prayer can accomplish what worrying, nagging, and manipulation cannot (James 5:16).

And if children choose to leave us to serve God in distant locales, may we gladly “give up” that child to His service! Life is short (James 4:14; Job 14:1) and laborers for God are few (Matthew 9:37). What we lack in terms of their earthly companionship will be restored in far greater measure when we spend eternity not only with Christ, but with our saved children and loved ones!

God the Father Himself “gave up” His only begotten Son, offering Him as the perfect sacrifice to suffer and die for all our sins, so that by trusting Him we might be washed clean in His shed blood and have eternal life! (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; John 3:16; Hebrews 9:22) May you have a blessed Mother’s Day and rejoice in His ultimate gift!

© 2014 Laurie Collett
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Nadwra┼╝liwiec said...

In Poland last time are very loud news about women, who killed their children - today I read news, that one "mother" killed baby because charlatan told her, that she can't give her child food for health. Child died because of hunger...
Not because of poverty, but because of superstition.
I thought that it can be possible maybe in Africa, but not in Europe... I'm really shocked.
But this case show, how many work we have as Christians.
Greeting still from Bosnia and Hercegovina (ex-Yugoslavia) - sun is shining and after flood is nothing :)

Denise said...

Enjoy your mother's day.

Sandra Heska King said...

"Prayer can accomplish what worrying, nagging, and manipulation cannot."

Sometimes all that's left is to let go. Thank you, Laurie.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Zim, In the U.S. also, the news is full of very sad stories of mothers killing or abandoning their babies, some because of mental illness. Truly we are in the End Times and evil is increasing.
Enjoy your time in sunny Bosnia and blessings to you,

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Denise -- may you have a blessed Mother's Day weekend also.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Sandra -- sometimes we just come to the end of ourselves and have to give it all up to Him, and then we wonder why we didn;t just do that in the first place.
Thanks for your comment & God bless,

a joyful noise said...

I hadn't really thought about the heart ache to give up Moses and also other mothers who for the good of their child give them up - - the sad fact about abortion and killing the child for the mother's convenience is heart wrenching.

Ceil said...

Hi Laurie! I thank the Lord that my children's birth moms had the grace to choose life for their child, and make the decision to give them to me. Without them, I wouldn't have my boy and girl. Well, they are grown and parents of their own actually, making me a Nana too. A miracle of love.
Happy Mothers Day!

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
My wife had lost two fetuses through spontanious abortion, or miscarriage. I was told by the doctor that the most likely reason was the failure of some of the 23 of my chromosomes to pair properly with those of the female ovum, resulting in what would have been a malformed child. What I do find remarkable, were that more miscarriages and stillbirths seem to occur among believing parents. At least that how it looked in our church, where several of these incidences had occurred over just a few years.
What do you think?
Having said that, we do have three healthy daughters.
Again a great post, God bless.

Carol said...

We can pray for our nation, for repentance, for women to be healed of the wounds they have from giving up their babies. Glad you are addressing this.

Happy Mother's Day

Laurie Collett said...

I taught about this yesterday in my ladies' Bible study, and one of the ladies said that she heard a testimony on Moody Radio of a man who grew up feeling that his birth mother gave him up because she didn't love him. After he got saved, he began to understand how she might have given him up unselfishly for his own good. He found her and realized this was the case, and how he feels blessed to have 2 mothers who love him and whom he loves.
It is very sad indeed that the world is deceiving women about abortion and its consequences.
God bless you,

Laurie Collett said...

Praise God, Ceil, for this beautiful testimony! Life is the only choice that honors Him and blesses others. Hope you had a blessed Mother's Day with your children and grandchildren!

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
I am so sorry to hear of the two children that God took home before they were born. Praise God that one day you and Alex will meet them in Heaven and have eternity to share with them.
That is an interesting observation of believing parents appearing to have higher rates of miscarriages and stillbirths. I am not aware of any studies that have looked at that. Perhaps the rates seem to be higher because the church is a place where we share one another's burdens, and there may be more discussion of these heart-wrenching experiences in that setting than in the secular world. Or, maybe believers tend to have larger families than nonbelievers, and with more pregnancies, there would be more chances for one or more to end in miscarriage. Our late pastor's wife experienced a miscarriage, but they, too, were blessed by two healthy sons before and a third after.
Thanks as always for your kind words and thought provoking comment, and God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Carol! May we humble ourselves and ask God to heal our land and to heal the emotional scars suffered by women who have given up their child.
Thanks for the encouragement, and I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Donald Fishgrab said...

I am in full agreement with your article. Far too often mothers have been encouraged to give up their children to the school system or daycare programs in the belief it will provide something better for the child while depriving them of the love and bond with their mother.

Because Christians consider the unborn child as a person they take their death far more seriously than do those who don't consider them a living person, with the result that they share both the incidence and the sorrow more frequently than the world does.

viviene @ thejourneyofawoman said...

What a joy to have a God who is willing to give up his one and only son to be a lamb for us...

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Donald, for your words of support. I agree that child-rearing belongs to the parents, not to the school or even the church, and certainly not to the "village." Great point about Christians being more likely to share their experience with miscarriage, even though the actual incidence may be the same as in the secular world. God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Viviene! Praise God that He gave His only begotten Son to be the Lamb Who takes away the sins of the world!
Thanks so much for your visit and comment, and may you have a blessed week in Him,