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Foundation Truth, Number 19 (Winter 2008) | Timeless Truths Publications

Foster Children

Part 2

Keepers at Home

We are getting a little closer to understanding the scriptures in Habakkuk 2:4-5 and Titus 2:5 which speak of “keepers at home.” There must be something to keep. It must be more than just two people living in the house. We are greatly afraid that a great number of “homes” are empty shells. They have been robbed by the devil. The essence is gone. The ambition, the covetousness, the pride, the self-indulgence, the alcohol, the drugs, the pleasure-seeking, the unfaithfulness, or the sin of some other kind has all taken it away. “From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.”* (Isaiah 24:16)

Titus 2:5 is frequently quoted to prove that a wife should not work in such a way as to bring income into the home. “Keepers at home.” The people who quote Titus 2 in this way do not quote Proverbs 31:16,18: “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard… She perceiveth that her merchandise is good.” Most of them do not quote Habakkuk 2:4-5 either, which reads, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him…. Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people.” It is plain from these scriptures that the keeping of the home is the responsibility of both father and mother. It is not necessarily wrong to be in business for either the husband or wife, but anything that either one does must not neglect the heavy and urgent responsiblities of keeping the home. It is very plain in Proverbs 31 that neither the virtuous woman or the virtuous man who sitteth in the gates is neglecting the home. It is a lot of responsibility to keep a home. We are not referring to the physical maintenance of the physical house (which is no small burden). We are referring to the spiritual upkeep of the home. We are speaking of mothers/wives who neglect the home because they contract their allegiance and time to a paycheck or the running of a business, and we are speaking of fathers/husbands who neglect the home for the same reasons. We will add that competitive paychecks in the home from husband and wife have a destructive and undermining effect on the spiritual upkeep of the home.

I will quote again from Dare to Discipline:

How do you feel about working mothers?

Motherhood is a full-time job during the child’s first five years [and not then only]. I know some families which just can’t seem to pay their bills without a supplement to the father’s paycheck, but children need their mother more than they need a newer car or larger house. The issue is not so much, “Should mom work?” as it is “Who will take her place?” Is an eighteen-year-old baby sitter going to apply the principles of good parenthood…. Is she going to mold and guide and reinforce those subtle but important attitudes that emerge each day? Is she capable of disciplining and loving in the proper combination? Being a good mother is one of the most complex skills in life, yet this role has fallen into disrepute in recent years. What activity could be more important than shaping human lives during their impressionable and plastic years [as well as the formative years right on through the teens]?… The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

[James Dobson; Dare to Discipline, pp. 54]

I firmly believe that all the work done by the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 was with her husband’s approval, and that God’s approval was upon their approval. It was home-based and did not take away from her responsibilities as a mother and wife, nor did his work take away from his responsibilities as a father and husband.

Deadly Financial and Leisure Ambitions

A terrible myth has crept into our society. It has been around before, destroying lives and homes, but now it has grown to epidemic proportions. “Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?”* (Habakkuk 2:13) It is the myth of the standard of living. If folks were as particular about their spiritual standards as they are about their physical standards, we as a people would be in much better shape. Alas! As a people, we are full of idleness and fullness of bread, the sin of Sodom. We are full of fatness; we have more than heart could wish, when it comes to physical comforts and conveniences, but in spiritual standards, we are so destitute as to make the angels weep. The unending desire to be rich, to be at ease, to be very comfortable, has pierced us through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10).

A huge number allow the television to parent for them. This device frees the parents from the tiring oversight necessary to raise the children as they should be raised, at a terrible price. The TV preaches evil constantly, and shapes the minds and thoughts of the children according to the low values and cynical unbelief of the writers of the programs, the producers, and the actors (Psalm 101:3; Philippians 4:8). TV effectively sells the children on the concept that rebellion and sin are good; that it is all right to do wrong if you are smart enough not to get caught. This is standard fare, day in and day out; but, lest the people get bored with this daily septic tank beverage, Satan has devised to provide video games, movies, concerts, and theater to round out the program. All this very efficiently produces children with little or no morals, no love for their parents, no appreciation or thankfulness, untrustworthiness, and who are irresponsible. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”* (2 Timothy 3:2-5)

We live in a time when the very concept of parenting has been downgraded and devalued, and as a society, we are paying a very dear and crushing price for not valuing this weighty responsibility. An immense moral earthquake has shaken us as a people, and the shattered remnants of a better time lie all about us. These remnants of better days have been disregarded by a large portion of the population, and it seems that their highest appreciation of the spiritual architecture of parenting is a little shack with a tarp stretched over it, so to speak. This is pitiful. The whole thing is built around what money can do and buy, and their lives consist of an endless procession of shallow entertainments and education. The population dwells and moves about in more and more elaborate shells. They put up with a spiritual destitution and poverty that is incredible.

We want to say that raising a single child to value and want to do right is harder work than establishing an international business. You have a selling job ahead of you to get that child to “buy the truth, and sell it not.”* (Proverbs 23:23) You have a fanatical competition, the devil and his demons, that labors night and day to subvert the children and yourself. If God doesn’t help you, then you and yours will be devoured. You and your companion had better have bought the truth yourselves and value it above all else. If you don’t love the truth, you will surely lose it. You think it is difficult to persuade people to part with their money for your goods/services? Try getting them to dedicate the one life they have to live to doing right and loving what is right, especially if they can rightly observe that you are not living right.

As an unsaved child, I did not want to believe my mother and father when they told me that they would never lie to me. I did not want to believe them! If I could catch them in a lie, there would be an excuse for me, I thought. (I was wrong about that.) But I could not catch them. They did not lie. They did not do other things that they required of me not to do. They really were keepers at home.

Mother was there all the time. We had very few unsupervised moments. She watched us closer than any hawk. She was jealous over us with a godly jealousy. She prayed that God would show her things, and He did. We were kept; we were not on our own at all.

Dad earned a living, but he was just as dedicated. He knew that mother was on the front line, so to speak, and he backed her up completely. He weighed out matters and consulted with her. About the time we began to figure out how to get around Mother somewhat, we discovered (the hard way) that there were two dedicated adults, working as a team, and we could hardly get away with anything. What little we did get away with was held with great uneasiness on our part, for our governors were always on the job—dedicated to God and the principles of right. Eventually it dawned on us that they held the position they did, not because they were bigger and had the purse strings, but because they, too, were under authority, and members of God’s house. Then did the full fruition of all their efforts come home to us, and the Spirit of God strove with our hearts.

When we deal with the children of others in our home, all of the same battles are there and more. It is tough growing up in a well-ordered home. It is hard to learn to surrender, to yield. The foolishness of the raging self-life fights hard against the oversight of the godly home. How much more when the children come from another place, either unrestrained or abused and beaten, enraged at the injustices and loss which has overtaken them! If you thought it was difficult to get children with all the advantages to humble down and buy the truth, consider what it means for a foster child, the fruition of failure, to humble down and buy the truth. And yet, it is their only hope.

“One mother only nature gives
To every child of earth;
But others now supply the place
Of her that gave him birth.”

—D. S. Warner, “To the Alien”

After the breakdown and collapse of a family(?) to the extent that the state steps in and removes the children from the home, the devil has prepared a new program of deprivation and cynicalness for the unfortunate child. It is literally a case of out of the frying pan into the fire. For many of these children, it would be kinder to just shoot them. That would be murder, nor are they ready to go out of this world, so it is not right, of course; but it would be kinder than what lies ahead in this life. If you think that drugs and crime can produce unkept homes that are horror stories of what happens to the children, consider what a great machine of a bureaucacy can do.

Suppose you meet a foster child of seventeen years old. This child was legally kidnapped, when about five years old, from a home where drugs and “getting high” ruled. They were starving, beaten, filthy, and in constant danger of violence and death. That was twelve years ago. The child has been in, say, thirty homes since then, including several institutions that are more like jails than homes. No, I am not exaggerating. (There are a number of factors that influence the constant moving of a foster child. It is only fair to say that the social service agencies involved do not want to move the child, but oftentimes they have no choice. Instability is the defining characteristic of the foster child’s situation.) The child has learned not to form relationships with anyone. The ones that started to form were broken, and it is too painful to love anyone when you will be snatched away yet again. The child has learned not to trust anyone. The child has a poor self-image—doesn’t believe they will ever amount to anything—is stirred to feel envious and jealous of others constantly, and is seldom free very long from blind, red rage.

Now you propose to take this dear one into your home. You and your companion are touched with compassion, and you want to do what you can do to heal the wounds. You believe that Jesus can do anything (He can). You know that He is able to save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25), so you are not afraid of the challenge…. You had better be called of God to the task. You are going to need everything He has for you. It is not impossible, just almost impossible. The difficulty is not what God can do (for His arm is not shortened), but that the young soul in need will want the help that God can give. Before they can want that wonderful help, they must believe in you and in Him, and they must be willing to pay the price of surrender to God.

“Well,” you may say. “Let’s start out earlier, before all the accumulated damage occurs.” All right. Let us say that the child is brought to you straight from the home of his/her parents. Perhaps the child is even glad to get out of there because things have been so bad. Perhaps they even thank you for taking them in. This looks encouraging. As you deal with the child, you will find that they are definitely someone’s child. Something made them and shaped them. They are not untouched by the first five years of their life. Furthermore, unless you adopt them, you have a great interferer over you and the child. This authority will force you to take the child for visitations with its parent(s) even if the visitations are obviously detrimental and counterproductive. You and the child will be forced to endure constant and regular injections of emotional poison by these visits. If the aggravated behavior of the child reaches a certain degree of out-of-controllableness, then you will find that you have a state-doped child in your home. You will find that strange and weird problems afflict the child. Most of these children have been sexually abused or exposed to knowledge of sexual abuse, and the damage done to a child in this way will shock you beyond words. A very spirit of uncleanness gains an advantage over the child’s spirit, and the spiritual warfare shifts to that plane. Your foster child is not safe for other children to be around, and you began to feel that your home is turning into a preventive jail.

“Well,” you say, “I’ll take a newborn infant, then.” You will still find that you are raising someone else’s child. A child is very flexible in many ways and will adapt to your home, especially if shaped so early in life, but you will find that there are strange and mysterious tempers and dispositions, which have their roots in the actual biological parents. Many of these abandoned children have special gifts from God to compensate for their disadvantages, but these gifts require great understanding and care on the part of the caretakers of the child. They can be a blessing, or they can be a curse. As we said earlier, the devil acquires an advantage over the child whose parents have failed so fundamentally.

The Deep and Grievous Wound

“For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.”* (Jeremiah 30:12)

“There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually.”* (Nahum 3:19)

“For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.”* (Psalm 109:22)

“The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?”* (Proverbs 18:14)

“The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”* (Isaiah 1:5-6)

Why didn’t my mother love me? Why isn’t she here with me? Why can’t I have a daddy? It’s not as if my mother is dead! She could see me if she wanted to do so!

“There is no healing of thy bruise!” The outward wound can be healed, thank God, but the underlying bruise is there for life.

The child grows up in spite of the grievous wound. Some are more affected by the trauma than others, but I believe it would be fairly safe to say that none are unaffected. He or she becomes an adult, but the bruise is still there. Their very existence is built around what happened to them, and their adversary has an enormous advantage over them which he utilizes to the full. The wound will heal to a certain extent, perhaps, but the bruise never fades completely. The failure of the parents scars the child for life. The person is crippled, and must learn to deal with their handicap.

An individual who is handicapped needs more courage than others who do not have the disadvantage. They need more grace (unmerited favor) from God and an extraordinary faith, too. If it takes a trainload of grace for a non-foster child to discover what it means to be a human being and rise to the challenge, then it takes a world of grace for a foster child. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”* (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Life is much more about overcoming or being overcome than about idealism. The race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, but time and chance happen to all (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

One of the most valuable and most important, practical things that a parent can give a child is a healthy outlook. A healthy outlook is made up of courage, poise, good cheer, with a foundation of faith and confidence. A good example is invaluable here. A demonstrated victorious life. A parent who triumphs over adversity shows the children what is possible. A parent who comes to terms with their personal strengths and weakness, who trusts God effectively in life’s battles, leaves a priceless legacy before their children.

A homeschooled boy was being tutored in math by a teacher. He was not understanding the lesson material, and the teacher became frustrated and annoyed at his lack of comprehension. The ten-year-old boy stopped and looked at the teacher. “Mrs. ——,” he said, “I can’t think when you are frustrated with me. If you will be patient with me a little, I will be able to understand this.”

The ability to master one’s emotion and to patiently look a problem in the face is all too rare. Many adults do not have the poise of spirit and courage to deal with their problems in this way. All of us can readily recognize the advantages of self-control and the ability to take courage (also humility) that this young boy possessed.

There are other lessons, too. Behind the immediate ability to deal with the problem at hand lies a very positive sense of self-worth. Someone had trained this young man and managed to instill in him a sense of believing in himself, that his life meant something, that his existence was meaningful. And this is in accordance with the Word of God, for it teaches us, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”* (Matthew 16:26) “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”* (Matthew 10:31)

This diminished, even destroyed, sense of self-worth is one of the most severe, dangerous blows suffered by the foster child, for the abandonment of the child by its parents speaks most eloquently and persuasively. It speaks so loudly that the child can scarcely hear anything else. “If I mean anything, then why did my mother not want me?” The right answer—that sin destroyed the parent(s) and caused this awful desertion—is not any comfort to the child. “So sin caused me to be worth nothing?” Everything circles back to this one horrible conclusion: I mean nothing; nobody sees anything in me to love.

“Well,” you might say, “I can fix that. I will devote myself to the child; I will lavish love on the dear, unfortunate one. They will never be able to doubt their worth again. I will prove by how I do that the child has intrinsic worth of great value.”

I would to God that it were that easy. But this grievous wound is not so easily healed. We are not so easily transplanted. We are where we have come from. We cannot deny our roots so readily by denying that we have roots. In other words, to acknowledge our rootlessness is to define ourselves as rootless individuals. To actually face and to acknowledge inwardly the full depths of our repudiation by our folks takes the very strength that we are trying to acquire. If I were strong enough to deal with my weakness, then I would not be weak…. I need strength to heal, so I can be stronger. And so the child desperately clings to the illusion that my real mother and daddy are not as bad as it seems they are. There is a very real, painful contradiction in this, of course, and it brings an overpowering frustration and outbursts of blind rage.

Trying to fit life to what we want it to be, rather than facing and dealing with reality, is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure. The Bible refers to facing reality (what is today called “a reality check”) as sober thinking. This is worth a whole Bible study in itself. I will list some of the scriptures that commend sober thinking: Romans 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:6,8; 1 Timothy 3:2,11; Titus 1:8; 2:2,4,6,12; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8.

The paradox in the foster child’s life is this: just what he needs to do to heal (face reality and come to terms with it) is precisely what is wrong. He needs the strength, but it takes strength to get the strength. Until he gets the strength, he will never heal, even as an adult, even an elderly adult. The awful tragedy is that help is available, within reach, but it does nothing to benefit the child until the child finds it, if indeed the child ever does find it. That help is pictured in this scripture, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.”* (Psalm 27:10)

I had a problem with my pickup truck that kept the hot water from the engine from flowing through the heater radiator in the cab. One cold winter day, I dressed as warmly as I could with “long handles”—heavy woolen socks, gloves, ear muff cap, and several coats—and drove to town. The cold gradually penetrated everything as I drove, and I felt thoroughly frozen, even to the very marrow of my bones. Just on the other side of the thin metal wall that separated the cab from the engine was all the hot, hot water that I needed to be comfortable—perhaps a foot or two away from where I shivered. It was all there, circulating, wonderfully hot, and just perfectly suited for my need, but it might as well have been on another continent, for all the good it did me.

This is the situation of the foster child. The reality of God is very close to him or her all the time. Everything that the child needs is there, but they know it not. Listen to these words, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.”* (Acts 17:27) As Jacob said, “Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.”* (Genesis 28:16)

Now these thoughts are as true of all children as they are of the foster child, and many a parent has agonized over their son or daughter, knowing that help was so readily at hand, though the reality of it was hidden from the eyes of the needy one. Perhaps it is because the need of the foster child is so stark, so compelling, so lacking in human comfort and connection, that it seems particularly tragic. The grievous wound is so deep.

We realize that the position of being a parent (foster parent or biological, even a spiritual father or mother in Israel) is the position of being an intercessor. “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”* (Ezekiel 22:30) We catch a glimpse of the value of an intercessor in the supplication of Abraham for Lot in Genesis 18:22-32. In the overall scheme of things that God has created, He has left a place for the intercessor. God is calling for those who will dedicate themselves to the cause of the wounded and bruised. “And I sought for a man.” Who will stand in the gap and contend with the enemies of the child? Who will make up the hedge? Who will be a “great heart” and defend the children? Yea, who will offer soul and body on the altar of our God?

“His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness.* (Job 33:21-23)

Many years ago, our Lord, as a boy, before He disputed with the doctors in the temple, read these burning words in Ezekiel 22:30 and responded with all the fervor of His pure, sinless heart. He dedicated Himself to our cause; He gave His life to make us free; He offered Himself as a ransom for us. “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”* (Isaiah 53:12) Yea, “he ever liveth to make intercession for [us].”* (Hebrews 7:25)

Jesus has left an example for us, that we should follow in His steps, and part of that discipleship is working together with Him in an intercessory capacity. “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”* (James 5:20) In writing these words, we are obeying the Word of God; we are “letting you know” of the noble and honorable calling of the one who intercedes. Let us follow the example of our Lord and devote ourselves to the uplifting, the care and nurture of those who need it the most.

Infections of the Wound

Then there are the complications of the original wound—the infections. For instance, consider the human ability to envy.

Envy: to have feeling of uneasiness or mortification in regard to anyone, arising from the sight of another’s excellence or good fortune and a longing to possess it.

This is one of the deadly infections that greatly increase the danger of the grievous wound. It is a common mantra with an older foster child to explain all shortcomings and failures in terms of what has happened to them. “You came from an intact family. You don’t have the problems that I have.” But, of course, it is not what happens to you in life that matters; it is how you take it.

The awful end result is that most foster children become a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. The infections from the wound are fatal. They go and do to others what was done to them. There is only one way to escape the victim syndrome, and that is to make peace with God and find what He has for you to escape the cycle. “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound… to comfort all that mourn… to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.”* (Isaiah 61:1-4) “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”* (Luke 19:10)

In a certain sense, the thorough deliverance of the foster child depends on his (her) ability to not only genuinely repent of the sins that they have personally done, but to repent of the sins of their parents, even their grandparents. I do not mean by this that those sins of others are forgiven by such repentance; I simply am stating that there must be a complete forsaking of all of the ways of their parents which are sinful, and a complete turning to God. This would be in the sense that Daniel repented of the sins of Judah (Daniel 9:1-20). Then will this promise be fulfilled: “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.”* (Isaiah 54:11-14) Such a victory is not accomplished in a day or a week or a year, yet it is possible in God, for He will make a way of escape that can be followed step by step with super-abounding grace sufficient for the need of every day.

It is the privilege of every foster child to be adopted. Indeed, from the standpoint of the adoption of which we speak, we are all foster children until we are adopted by heavenly love. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and jointheirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”* (Romans 8:15-17)

We all are of the corrupted bloodline of Adam, cursed with depravity from the moment of our conception, doomed with that inherited sin to become eternally dead souls with acquired wilful transgressions from the moment we comprehend the difference between right and wrong. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened [brought to life] us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”* (Ephesians 2:4-6)

“Oh, how sublime is the life of the Christian,
Filled with the glory of Jesus divine;
Deep in his bosom he’s joyfully conscious
That he is born of a heavenly line.”*

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”* (1 John 3:1-2)

“I don’t fit,” is the inward cry of the foster child. “Where are my people? Where did I come from?” And this need is there in spite of all that others can do. But in God, there is a complete adoption that far surpasses the best that humans can do for humans. Human adoption goes as far as it is possible for it to go, but God can do things that men cannot do. For God can actually change our bloodlines, spiritually speaking, and recreate us in the image of Christ. And this incredible change, the regeneration of the human heart, is accomplished now. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.”

There is a predestination taught in the Bible that has nothing to do with the idea of whether some can be saved and others cannot. That predestination is the predestination of the spiritual gene pool, the spiritual DNA of our Lord Jesus Christ—as compared to the corrupted, defiled spiritual bloodline of Adam, the head of the race of mankind. We look at a human couple and realize that the offspring of man and wife is predestined to be like them in physical form. When the children are born, we look at them, searching their countenance. Can you see daddy in the child? Mother? Sure enough, it is there. Sometimes subtly, sometimes blatantly, but it is there. Furthermore, it can be truthfully said that the moral image of Adam is there, too. Then we look at the moral image of the fully saved soul. Behold! We see the image of Jesus, the new Adam! “We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like Him.”* (1 John 3:2) “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”* (Galatians 4:19) As a brother once remarked, “Each Christian is just like Christ continuing to live in this old world.” Yes, we are converted to the same bloodline; we are the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ.

Now this new spiritual life starts with spiritual conception and spiritual birth, as Nicodemus was informed by our Lord. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again…. so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”* (John 3:6-8) “And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest Himself shall establish her.”* (Psalm 87:5) “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven.”* (Hebrews 12:22-23)

Here is the full and complete meaning of what the scripture tells us in Psalm 27: “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.”* (Psalm 27:10) Now this is a “taking up,” indeed!

“Raised from sin to royal honor,
Even reigning, Lord, with Thee.”*

Taken into the royal family! Made an heir unto God! “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and jointheirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”* (Romans 8:16-17)

“God is my Father, and Jesus my brother,
Since I’m adopted by heavenly love;
I am an heir in the kingdom of glory,
And have a crown that is waiting above.”

He has gone to prepare a place for me and will return for me some day, and not only me, but also all who love His appearing. I belong! I am loved! I am provided for! I have a place!

“Once I was lost and a child of confusion,
Over the mountains of folly I roamed,
But at the cross I have entered the kingdom,
Glory to Jesus! His love is enthroned!”*

I find that this heavenly family into which I have been born is the noblest, finest, most upright that there is! There is every incentive to live up to the highest and most illustrious aspirations. It is a family of overcomers, led by a mighty Overcomer, utterly dedicated to purity and holiness, justice and mercy. A royal family, a family of kings and priests. And this royal blood flows in my veins, spiritually speaking. Now, I, too, am of the heavenly lineage, by virtue of the new birth.

“Oh, what grace and high promotion,
That in Jesus I should be
Raised from sin to royal honor,
Even reigning, Lord, with Thee.”*

“Be an overcomer, only cowards yield
When the foe they meet on the battlefield;
We are blood-bought princes of the royal host,
And must falter not, nor desert our post.”*

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”* (1 John 4:4)

“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:”* (Revelation 2:26)

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”* (Revelation 3:5)

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”* (Revelation 2:7)

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”* (Revelation 3:12)

All of these scriptures (and others) speak of the overcoming grace that is in God to triumph over our past. They do not only apply to the needs of foster children; they apply to all the needs of mankind.

“He [Jesus] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.”* (Hebrews 7:25)

There is no limitation whatsoever to what God can do for you, dear reader, or for others of your acquaintance. “For there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.”* (1 Samuel 14:6)

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”* (Matthew 19:26)

“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”* (Isaiah 59:1)