Ever notice how children who are adopted sometimes look like their adoptive parents? It is amazing how frequently this happens. It helps underscore the idea that children who come into a family through adoption are just that, children, a son or a daughter, not an “adopted son” or “adopted daughter.”
It works that way with God’s family too. We come into His family through adoption (Galatians 4:4-5). It must be this way. By nature we exist as spiritual orphans separated from God by our sinfulness. But God comes to us through the cross of Jesus, calls us by His Spirit in baptism, and adopts us. But never does Scripture refer to us as “adopted children,” only children. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1a).
It gets even better. Once adopted we start to look like our Father! “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Now back to 1 John 3 as he points us ahead to the completion of this look-a-like transformation. “[W]e know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (2b).
God’s adoption and look-a-like transformation process gives us a unique perspective from which to view life and particularly unborn human life. We rightly give value to the unborn because God creates them. We rightly give them value because Jesus shed His blood to pay for them. But we sometimes forget that God gives the unborn value because He desires to adopt every human being as His child and transform them to look like Him.
Contrast this to the societal view of certain unborn as “unwanted.” We often counter this with, “There is no such thing as an unwanted baby.” We point to the million-plus couples desiring to adopt, who truly want those babies. But we can—and should—raise this to a higher level.
There is no such thing as unwanted children because God wants them. God wants them splashing about in the waters of baptism. God wants to adopt them as His children. God wants to make them look like Him. God wants an eternal relationship with them.
What God has done for the unborn (created/redeemed) and what God wants to do for them (adopt/transform) raises abortion way above politics and parties and platforms. What God has done and wants to do compels us to defend and speak up for the unborn. What God has done and wants to do compels us to love and care for those facing “unwanted” pregnancies not just so they will choose life, but also that they might know how much God loves and wants both them and their baby. And, yes, what God has done and wants to do for the unborn compels us to think beyond health care or the economy when we vote for those who represent us this November.
Were you adopted into your family? Do you look like your mom or dad? If you answered “yes,” it might be fun to compare baby pictures! Were you adopted into God’s family? Then you are being transformed to look just like your Dad! What a look-a-like to have both now and eternally!