Written by Heather.

Names have been changed to protect privacy.

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Ephesians 5:22-24

Most women like to skip right over those verses. I'll admit they're not among my favorites. In the next set of verses, husbands are exhorted to love their wives even as Christ loves the church. But God didn't say that wives are exempt of respecting their husbands, if we don't receive that kind of love. I haven't always practiced that kind of submission. Adding a child to our family is one area in which I was in open rebellion for awhile.

My husband is a wonderful Christian man who loves me with all his heart. I love him fully and stand by him, even through difficult times. Less than a year after we were married, we decided to try to have a child, and I got pregnant right away. We miscarried early in the pregnancy. I wanted a child desperately. My husband, who was lukewarm about the idea of parenting, said if we were meant to be parents the miscarriage wouldn't have happened. He used it to support his position that God was saying "no."

But I pushed the issue. I researched fertility treatments, adoption, and foster care. Finally we signed up with a local church affiliated agency for foster adoption parent training. During the class, we learned that our niece was in a bad home situation and we kept her during the following school year. When our niece left, the agency social worker contacted us about taking a 9 year old foster child. We really wanted a younger child, but we prayed about it, met the child, and opened our home. She was available to adopt and I plunged in with high hopes--dragging my husband behind me.

To say that our 2 months as foster parents was challenging would be an understatement. My husband and I seldom argued before her arrival, but during that tumultuous time, we argued constantly. We rarely raised our voices, but during that time our  tempers flared and the volume stayed on high. Sadly, the young girl was diagnosed as being severely emotionally disturbed, was removed from our home, and placed in a secure psychiatric facility.

I was ready to jump right back into foster care. My husband, however, had had enough and was emotionally done. He told me he never wanted to hear "child" mentioned in our house again. He told me, "Don't ask, don't bring it up, and don't mention it. Never again. No more. Finished. End of discussion."

Now, I faced a new emotional challenge. I was at a crossroads in my thought life. I could've talked him back into the glamour of parenting; he loves me and knew how much I wanted to be a mother. But during the year we had our niece and then the foster child, we hadn't known happiness. I knew that insisting on my way wasn't going to improve our lives. We'd tried it my way and it didn't work.

I spent time with God and repented to Him - and to my husband - for not submitting. It was among the hardest things I've done in my life. It felt like I was killing my dream. I kept hoping we'd have a biological child, but it didn't happen. I kept hoping that adoption would work out and then foster care, but that didn't happen either. I had to surrender my heart and the desires of my heart to God. I had to walk a path of trust. I asked God to take away my desire to be a mother.

I can't say that everything got better. I still had a deep ache in my heart. I still longed to have a child to call my own. For awhile I fervently prayed for God to change my husband's heart. Then, I earnestly prayed for Him to change mine. I was starting to know God's peace and was able to focus on other things. Our relationship solidified and we spent time ministering to teenagers in need. My husband repeatedly said, "We may not have our own children, but these are our kids." After awhile I stopped telling him how much his comment hurt. I struggled to keep my mouth shut, even when my husband asked if he was being selfish by saying "no" to children. I reminded him, and myself, that he was the head of our family.

Shortly thereafter, our closest friends began pursuing adoption. I tried to share in their joy as they planned, researched, and received confirmation of a birthmother "match." They came to visit us in preparation for their adoption of a son and hinted that we should become the legal guardians of their child. When they left my husband said we should volunteer. I told him absolutely not; a child needs to be brought up in a family where he's wanted by both parents. That wouldn't be the case in our home since he'd made it very clear that he wanted nothing to do with children.

My husband's reaction shocked me. He said nothing for a long time - then he wept. He told me that God was changing his heart. He'd noticed how cute the babies were in church! (I'd never heard him use 'cute' and 'baby' in the same sentence.) As he listened to our friends share their excitement and plans - it had stirred his heart. He was now thinking about becoming a father, but he admitted his fears about fatherhood. He asked, "What do you think?"

With 2 widened eyes full of surprise, I responded, "You know what I think, this isn't about what I think. This is between you and God. You seek Him, and when you're at peace with your decision, just let me know." Then I refused to talk about it. Every time he asked me about what I thought, I referred him back to God. My wonderful, godly husband spent many hours on his face in prayer, earnestly seeking our Lord's will.

A couple of months later, he came to me and said, "I think I've heard from God. I think He's telling us to adopt, but I'm scared." I answered, "Then you have a choice to make. You can say, 'No. I'm scared and I won't do it.' If you choose that option, we'll never discuss children again - I give you my word. You'll have to deal with God on the subject. Or you can say, 'God, I'm scared but I believe I've heard Your will for me. I'll obey and trust You to work in spite of my fear.'"

My husband, with tears in his eyes, said, "Let's go for it."

God led us to contact Deborah with Christian Adoption. As I write this, we're an adoptive couple full of anticipation about our soon to be born son - we're "matched !" This journey to adoption has been full of bumps and rocks, but we're trusting God. Through many leads, a failed "match" and many tears, we've stood as a team together. Through it all my husband has remained strong and unwavering, even though I was ready to quit. He has vision; he heard from God. So, we've persevered and are "matched" through Christian Adoption!

I can't say that God will do this for every woman who places her yearning for a child into God's hands. Truthfully, I never expected this answer. I found God's peace and was prepared to remain childless. But we serve a mighty God and He honors obedience to His Word.

Manipulation isn't a righteous way to bring a child into a family. It can only cause heartache and division. I had my share of both, and I don't recommend it.

With God, all things are possible.

As God changed my husband's heart, so He will do for those that seek His will. God is not a respecter of persons. God is sovereign, awesome, and just. He is true to His Word.

His Word is "yes" and amen!

Praise His name!  


(Tom & Heather have been blessed with 2 children through Christian Adoption!) 

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