One thing I expect to change in the coming revival – and when Roe v. Wade is reversed – is a powerful adoption movement. Our good friends, Randy and Kelsey Bohlender, are being used as forerunners of this. They share some of their thoughts with us today.
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. (Psalm 127:3-5)
“When the Supreme Court handed down their ruling on Roe v. Wade in 1973, the stage was set for a battle of epic proportions. The church has poured resources, energy and prayer into a campaign often framed as an effort to overturn a court ruling, while missing an important part of what the battle is about. To be sure, it is our desire that the evil decree of Roe v. Wade be reversed, but we’re not simply fighting to win a court decision. Thinking of the victory as a legal one is to think too small. Winning the battle for the unborn is to lay hold of the future.
“The psalmist likens children to arrows in the hand of a warrior.
“The invention of the arrow fundamentally changed warfare. Prior to the bow and arrow, men fought battles face to face. A warrior could only inflict damage within range of their own fist or the few dozen feet of an accurately thrown spear. Effectiveness in battle was limited to the immediate environment.
“The bow and arrow changed everything. Suddenly, a man could fire an arrow further and faster than he could run. He could inflict punishment on the enemy at great distance, perhaps even over a hill and out of line of sight. He could wage war where he could not go.
“Parenting children to be fiery believers in Jesus is an active means of waging war on multiple fronts, beyond our own reach and long after our lives are over. And if children are arrows from the Lord, as the Psalmist tells us, then every arrow matters.
“In 2006,” the Bohlenders say, “we were pursuing adoption as an extension of our prolife convictions. One day, I got a call from a social worker in Las Vegas telling me about a newborn baby girl. I was eager to hear more but wondered if we were one of several families she was considering? I asked her, ‘How many families are you talking to about this situation?’ The social worker, exhausted and frazzled, told me, ‘Buddy, if you want her, come and get her.’
Randy says, “Since that day, we’ve come to believe that the word of the Lord to the church in America is, ‘If you want the babies, go get them.’
“That started a journey of us adding six children by adoption to our family which already included four biological kids. Honestly, with ten kids, normal doesn’t work. A normal house, a normal van, a normal table at a restaurant….nothing normal works. People have asked, ‘How on earth did you decide to adopt six?’ We tell them that adoption is a little like getting a tattoo. You think long and hard about the first one. The second one comes a little easier, and by the time the third one comes around, you act pretty quickly. Suddenly, your arms are full of tattoos and you don’t really care. That’s the way it is with adoptions – they’re a part of you and have changed you.
“We deeply love our children,” they continue, “but from the beginning, we were not just adopting – we were scooping up arrows. We were making an intentional choice about where we were going to put our resources and energy, aiming to do damage to the kingdom of darkness in places we would never stand on our own.
“When you have ten children, people stare. They count noses, shake their heads and chuckle. They say things like, ‘Good for you…’ but deep down, we know they think we’re crazy. We’re not crazy, we’re just playing the long game of war. They may shake their heads in disbelief at us now, but in 150 years, my great-grandchildren, spread across the earth, will look back and think, ‘Grandpa was a genius.’”
This is so true. Short term thinking sometimes takes the position that more children to care for would limit one’s ability to be productive now. But it is never wise to neglect investing in the future in order to impact the present. It may seem that this allows one to make a bigger impact, or even reaching a place of renown more quickly. But high profile doesn’t always equate to high impact, a larger platform doesn’t necessarily equate to larger productivity. As Randy says,
“If you’re searching for impact, pick up an arrow and fire it where you will never live.
“In schools, foster care offices, crisis pregnancy centers, and Planned Parenthood clinics of America, the ground is littered with arrows. You may already have a few of your own, or you may have none in your quiver, but in this cultural battle, these arrows are at your feet. Wisdom would say we should scoop up those arrows, straighten them, and when the time is right, fire them into the future where they will inflict damage to the enemy and bring glory to the Lord – in ways we will never get an opportunity to do in our lifetime.
“Those who gather the arrows and with them win battles, gain authority and ability to extend values and ideologies over a conquered land. An arrow in your quiver is your primary influence over future generations. No longer is your influence limited to your own life. True mothers and fathers pass on spiritual DNA, shaping the earth for generations after they’ve been laid to rest.
“On a frigid January morning in 2005, 12 year-old Jackson stood with his dad on the sidewalk outside the U.S. Supreme Court in a silent prayer meeting. He wore red tape on his mouth with big, black letters that spelled “LIFE”. Jackson and his father joined thousands who had come to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life, and they were standing at the Court praying for the ending of abortion in America. As this young boy stood silently praying, a heckler approached and yelled loudly in his ear, ‘What are you going to do if you win? Are you going to take all the babies? You don’t even WANT all the babies!’
“The angry accusation challenged the prayer warriors that day as they pondered, ‘What will we do if we win?’ Is the body of Christ ready to be hands and feet for their prayers? The protestor didn’t know it, but his heckling planted the seeds of an adoption movement for the ending of abortion in America. The spirit of adoption is creating a counter-cultural revolution, a solution for the problematic question, “Are you going to take the babies?” As part of our intercession, adoption becomes an active, tangible means of spiritual warfare.”
If you, like Ceci and I, are too old to adopt (or have another prohibitive circumstance), consider doing what we have done and pay for an adoption – or help pay – for someone else’s. They’re very expensive. Many young couples simply can’t afford the cost of an adoption.
Pray with me:
Father, release the spirit of adoption across this nation. As the enemy spews the accusation that aborted babies are unwanted, may the Church rise up and call every child a wanted child! God, we declare a commitment to a culture of life in our nation. Show us how to give my time, energy, and resources to the adoption movement. Empower us to impart your Spirit to those around us, even to the fatherless and needy in my world.
Father, we declare that we want the arrows; we want the children! We ask for the honor of raising the children You bring to us. We decree the gathering and releasing of those arrows, that they would fly straight and true. Jesus, if You will give us the children, we will change nations with the story of Your grace and demonstrations of Your power. God, end abortion and send revival to America!
We decree that the church will arise with a passionate love for the unwanted babies and that life will win.
Randy Bohlender is a pastor in the KC area and his wife Kelsey, is director of Zoe’s House Adoption Agency in Kansas City, MO. You can find out more about them here.