Someone said something. Something that hurt. It's been nagging me and stealing my joy. I know I should let it go, and my dear husband has said as much. This person has no standing to make negative comments about me or my family. They don't even really know us. They're more of an acquaintance really. I've run it around in my head over and over and just can't get it out.
Here's what happened. Someone posted a status on Facebook (knowing that I would see it), complaining about every time they gets on facebook they're bombarded with people "begging for money" and how they should just get a job and pay for their own family. I ignored it but knew that I was likely included in that remark. I wanted to respond, but I didn't. I held my tongue. Then later that day it popped back up in my news feed with more comments. One of this person's comments, clarifying the post, was that "someone" on their friend list who has lots of kids is 'begging" for money to get more kids. They said that while they would love to stay at home with their kids, they had a job and took care of their own kids instead of begging everyone else to do it. Then demanded that others "get a job" and stop begging.
Again, I didn't respond. I figured that responding would do no good. Then this morning I read this verse.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly. Proverbs 14:1-2
I do want to answer those accusations. They've been nagging me in my own head. So here, dear friends, is my rebuttal.
1. I am begging. But I am not a begar
Here are the Webster definitions:beg
: to ask people for money or food
: to ask (someone) in a very serious and emotional way for something needed or wanted very much
: to ask for (something needed or wanted very much) in a very serious and emotional way
: a person who lives by begging for money, food, etc.
I am asking for money. It is serious to me, and I am very emotional about it. But I am not a beggar. I am asking for help in something that WILL help me, but I'm not the only one that will benefit from this. I am asking for help for a real cause, not because I can't pay my bills.
I'm not BOMBARDING anyone or getting in anyone's face pleading and asking for money or support. I'm sharing with my friends and family a way that they can help support our efforts to rescue orphans and give them a loving home. Christians are called to this. Not all Christians feel a call to actually adopt, but Christians are called to care for widows and orphans (James 1:27). All I'm asking for is support in following this calling.
And let me set the record straight. We can afford this. If we need to come up with all the money to cover the financial costs, we can. We do that by selling things, working, having good old-fashioned fund raisers, etc. People raise money for all sorts of things. Medical expenses, summer camp, moving, mission trips etc. The reason for posting a way to donate is so that those who WANT to give know how to do it.
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.We have been immeasurably blessed by old friends, new friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers as they have donated to our cause, bought from our bake sale, and prayed for us. The financial burden has been lifted by the love (and money) from each person that has given. Each gift on that donation page brings me to tears. It encourages me in this often difficult calling.
2. I have a job.
I have a very important job, raising my children to the glory of God. I am greatly blessed to stay home with them and nurture them constantly. I am doing important work here! And it never stops. I know many moms that don't have that luxury. Our economy and our culture have made it near impossible for a woman to stay home and do the dirty, difficult, joyful task of raising children. But I am abundantly blessed to be one of the few. Even if I did work outside the home, no job I could get would offset the cost of child care. Anyone with more than 2 children can attest to that. I see no reason to get a job and use every penny I make (and then some) to pay for someone else to raise my children. Yes, we chose to have this many children and we're choosing to have more. My husband also chose a career path that would allow for that. Thanks be to God for providing the means to care for such a large family, for blessing us with these children (and more), for giving me the ability and pleasure of staying home to raise them, and for putting us in a family and community of people who encourage and help us along the way.
3. Our adoption isn't just about our family.
As members of the body of Christ, we are all adopted. We became HIS. Not just kind of His. We really are HIS children. There's no looking back. When we were baptized into Christ, we became His children. Really and truly! We were taken out of a dark pit of sin and our own path of destruction. We were "throw away kids" and He rescued us! He took our burdens and gave us a bright future. We get to spend all of eternity in Glory!
When we adopt children here on earth, it is a picture of what Christ has done for us. We don't do it perfectly as He has done for us, but we seek to imitate the perfection that he created. When we (the Shipps) adopt fatherless children and give them our name, they not only take on the name of Shipp, but they take on all that that encompasses. Shipps are Christians. Shipps go to church. Shipps are hospitable. Shipps are respectful to others. Shipps don't lie. And the list goes on. We don't do any of these perfectly or without error. We slip up. We are corrected and encouraged by the body of believers we are surrounded by. When we adopt, those children will not only be a part of the Shipp family, they will be a part of God's family. They will be part of our extended family of Shipps, Booths, Doepkes, Abramovits and so on. They will be part of the family of believers at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. As I've said before, they won't just change our lives. They will change the world. Adoption changes everything.
That's why we ask for support. That's why we are comfortable asking for support. We are not adopting a puppy. We are not asking for someone to pay for our vacation. We aren't asking for a free place to live or for "hand outs." We are asking our beloved family and friends to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
It's hard to ask for money. It's hard to point a finger at the church (broadly) and say that we "should be" giving to orphans and widows. That the church "should be" adopting and financially supporting adoption. It's especially hard to stand up and say that when it looks like we are the ones benefiting from it. But it's the Biblical truth. Christians should be caring for the fatherless. Praying for them. Providing for their needs. Opening their hearts and homes to them. Not everyone can do all of those. But we (the church) can do a whole lot more than we're doing now.
In the state of Texas right now, there are an estimated 13,481 orphans.
There are 27,505 churches in Texas.
Do you see a solution?