Monday, May 11, 2015

A Good Mom & Our Great Father

Last May my wife officially adopted our three kiddos, gaining legal rights worthy of the status our children and their Heavenly Father had already affirmed, that she is their mom. Now, nearly a year later we are expecting our fourth child. And while this is my wife’s first pregnancy, it is NOT our first child or her first real child. No, this baby is simply another blessing to our family, unique and special in his or her (yes, we’re still not sure what we’re having) own way. This is a fact that my wife is adamant to clarify with whoever asks, and it only makes me love her more. But my gratitude for Brittany rightly goes well beyond her, upwards to the One who loves our four infinitely more than my wife and I combined.

What I’d love to share with you today is how my wife’s mothering of our children reminds me of the gospel, stirring my affections both for her and our great God and Savior Jesus Christ – the One who saw that like Adam, it was not good for me to be alone. And while it is possible that it may sound as though I’m boasting about my wife, she is not the one I’m aiming to highlight. Allow me to explain. For starters, Brittany has gone to great lengths to communicate our heart’s desire to our friends. There is not currently, nor will there ever be a hierarchy of importance or significance among our children, especially based upon whether they were adopted or naturally born.

So just because baby number four will be biologically connected to both of us, he or she will in no way be any more a part of our crew than the precious three we’ve already been blessed with. B is just as much mom to Brooks, Chan, and Mati whom she did not birth, as the one currently growing in her womb. There will be no second-class child in heaven, nor shall there be in our home. Each of our children are different from their siblings with varied skill-sets, life history and personality traits unique to them, yet they’re all equally loved by us.

This is crucial in our minds because it is an identity issue. We want our children and the world around them to know that they have been given to us by God to steward well; and they are gifts we are extremely grateful to have been granted. So it is worth clearing the air of any confusion. Sharing with you this morning is partially done in hopes of protecting the hearts of our three, for I know how the words of some well-meaning individuals can still be injurious when not well-informed. However, I also write for more than that purpose.

I’ve been privy to another side of this mother’s relationship with her children, a side that many are unaware of. As you would expect from any loving parent, Brittany’s care for our kiddos is not contingent upon anything else. Of course it has been this way from early on. When my wife and I first got engaged there were no guarantees that her love for our children would be reciprocated. B’s love for our three was not retracted when bitter people hurled hurtful comments at her, especially when those fiery arrows should have been aimed at me (though indirectly, I guess they were). Though she’s felt attacked and quite vulnerable at times, she’s only pressed into her role as mother with greater zeal.

Lastly, I see a picture of the gospel in the adoption chapter of our story. There was a cost and a season to endure, but the outcome was worth it all. During that time Brittany was able to explain to our children how the adoption proceeding was much like God’s choosing of us. “For the rest of your lives, I want you to know that it is with great joy that I call you mine.” Such love has moved me to love my wife more with a more steadfast devotion, but it has also overwhelmed my soul with a deeper appreciation for my Savior. But to again be clear, my wife is human and therefore not perfect. While some days she parents like a pro, there are other days that she struggles like the worst of us. She is susceptible to responding out of stress, insecurity, and fatigue. She is prone to be selfish and react from her flesh. Oh but there is One who is perfect…

Some of you are trying to figure out the purpose of this blog. You’re thinking that I’m just kissing up to my wife. Perhaps I missed the mark on Mother’s Day. Maybe there were higher expectations for a gift and now I’m trying to rectify the situation with my literary prowess (sarcasm). While the shoe of underwhelming propensity fits, you must consider the whole. If I were trying to win back the affections of my bride, would I have written the disclaimer in the second half of the above paragraph? I think not.

Maybe this is for our kids. Perhaps I’m hopeful that some will read this and better understand our family dynamic. Maybe I’m trying to head-off anything that could potentially hurt our children. Well, this is a stronger theory and one I cannot deny, yet must admit that those most likely to error in this regard are a couple things: 1) not very likely to read my blog and 2) not likely to be easily swayed with my gentle plea.

With the profound amount of readership that I get each week (sarcasm very thick here) it is possible that this is simply for me, for my wife, for our children. However, maybe there is something in here for you. Perhaps you need to be reminded of the gospel again, and of the love of our perfect Heavenly Father. Maybe your soul, like mine, needs to hear afresh of how impartial He is with his beloved, how He has adopted us who were once not a people to be His chosen people, to share in the inheritance of the saints, to reign as heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. Maybe your identity is occasionally forgotten or brought into question by various circumstances. Perhaps you’ve forgotten that your status of child is not contingent upon reciprocity. You and I in Christ are His, now and forever.

In this post-Mother’s Day blog, I hope you read about more than a good mom; I pray you are reminded of our great Father. And while I desire for you to hear my heart, there is a more desperate longing for you and I to hear the heart of our Heavenly Father and consider again the glorious implications of His gospel. May our resting in this truth bring Him much glory.

Matt Fowler
Assoc. Pastor of Missions & Students

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