Saturday, May 1, 2021

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, who were 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, and to rise again, 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
Reposted from the archives


Brenda said...

Hi Laurie, I have never understood why abortion is allowed to be carried out, and believe that it should be made illegal. I believe if a person does it just because they do not want the baby then they could be guilty of murder, depending on the whole story and circumstances . There are so many couples who are unable to produce children, and who are waiting to adopt a child. God bless.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
Back in February 2005, we had our daughters snatched away from us by the State and against our will. This what happens when an atheistic Social Worker doesn't get her way and not having the authority to initiate the separation, she used her diplomatic skills to persuade the Family Court to grant her permission to have our daughters taken from us, crushing our hearts completely.
Throughout the years after they were adopted, we were, first of all, determined that we would stay loyal to God and for Him to be the source of all daily grace, mercy, and compassion (Lamentations 3:22-24.)
Secondly, we always make sure that our marriage remains strong and robust, pouring our love to each other and chipping in when and where necessary.
God has spoken to us through His Word. I'm referring to Jeremiah 31:15-17. It's these words of promise that provide the power to keep our marriage safe and on even keel.
God bless you and Richard.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Brenda -- I cannot condone the taking of an innocent life, and I believe this is a correct viewpoint based on God's Word. Bird eggs of endangered species are protected by law, yet human lives are not. Surely God has and will judge the world for this form of infant sacrifice. Thanks as always for your comment and may God bless you richly,

Aritha said...

Thank you for this: " Prayer can accomplish what worrying, nagging, and manipulation cannot (James 5:16).

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
It is truly tragic that your daughters were removed from your loving care by the arrogance, pride, incompetence and cruelty of a social worker. i can't begin to imagine how awful that would be.

When growing up, Richard also suffered at the hands of a such a person, but to a much lesser degree. His mother raised four children as a single parent on welfare, and the social worker would often visit, seemingly to help, but bringing nothing but more hardship. When Richard was in agony over a tooth that needed pulling, she denied him a dental visit, and scolded him for not brushing his teeth more. When he managed to find chores to do for neighbors for a few dollars here and there, she would find out how much, then deduct that amount from their welfare check. Years later the family learned that she had not only been fired, but prosecuted for fraud and embezzlement.

But you and Alex are to be commended for your continued dedication to each other and to God's Word, which has blessed and strengthened not only yourselves, but also the readers of this blog. What man meant for evil, God has used for good.

Thanks as always for sharing your experience. May God richly bless you both.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Aritha,
You are very welcome, and thank you so much for your comment! Praise God that He gives us prayer as a way for us to communicate with one another. God bless,

David C Brown said...

I was reminded by this of Hannah and Samuel, in a way a figure for all parents, the children being brought up for the Lord. And sometimes when things are not as we might desire we simply have to entrust them to God.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi David,
God not only answered Hannah's prayer for a child, but blessed her richly with more children after she had committed Samuel to the Lord's service. We can't outgive God, and entrusting our children to Him allows His perfect plan to be fulfilled in them and in us.
Thanks for your comment and Scriptural reference. God bless,