11 January 2008

God's Expections for those with Disabilities

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I was thinking about my answer to Vicki and what I would tell parents who had adopted children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I think if you define a problem the solution becomes evident. So I started peeling away the layers of the information and discarded what wasn't pertinent.

Would I have different expectations for parenting an adopted child vs. a biologic child. No I wouldn't. While adopting a child does add some variables into the mix, it does not change the standard God holds parents to in raising a child. Whether they hand you a baby in the hospital that you've just delivered or whether you agree to parent a child that has been part of the state fostering program, the standard God holds you to is exactly the same. Genetic ties do not make a difference.

Somehow in our culture how we feel emotionally about circumstances and conditions has taken precedent over what is true, right and correct. I can almost hear the arguments from someone saying that it is not realistic to expect the same bond between adoptive and biologic children. Even if I concede that point, which I do not, it does not change the standard God has for parenting. We need to understand as parents and as children that God's standards do not fluctuate based on our ability to obey them. Period.

The ten commandments were not given to us with footnotes, exclusions and adaptations. They are the standard God set for us and by which we are measured (and found wanting). In his letter to the Galatians, Paul points out that the purpose of the law is to lead us to Christ. It is exactly because we are unable to keep the law that we are in need of Christ's sacrificial atonement on the cross. The standard is the same for all of us, with or without disabilities, hard lives and generous intellect.

In our backward human thinking, we would like to see that people with disabilities have more leeway, yet no where in the Word of God do we see Him lowering His standards for us. Quite the contrary, He sent Christ to keep the standard for us, knowing that we could not. What I see God requiring us in his Word, is that we extend ourselves lovingly and patiently to exhort those who have greater difficulty with self control. I see calls to repentance and perseverance, but not a chipping away at what is expected of us.

So, in thinking this through-so far I am eliminating adoption and subjective standards as variables in how I would encourage parents of adoptive children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I will think more about this and continue later.

Galatians 3:23-29
23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.
24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor {to lead us} to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.
25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

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