He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Monday, December 07, 2009 


1 John 3:1 – “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

Japan is a difficult place to set yourself apart and to show Christ by acts of Christian love or service. The culture of the Japanese requires that if you give something to somebody, you are obligated to give a gift in return. It is even possible to be stuck in an endless cycle of giving – you give to your neighbor your neighbor gives back to you and so you give back to your neighbor…you get the point.

This can be highly frustrating as you seek ways to show the love of Christ in tangible ways. The motives of the heart cannot be seen, so while you may be giving motivated by the Spirit of God, it cannot be discerned from the Japanese who are giving due to cultural requirements.

Yet, this past month I found an area where the Japanese cannot match the heart of God and where naming yourself a Christian and following the heart of God sets you apart in a way the carnal mind in this culture cannot understand. It is adoption.

I was talking to my best friend here about family and told him that I have two siblings in the adoption process right now. Japanese have a very hard time accepting adoption. In fact, there have been studies that show abortion is accepted at an astonishingly higher rate in comparison to adoption. Japanese are known for having small circles of family and friends, a circle in which outsiders are not allowed. For them, someone who does not share their blood, whether Japanese or not, they cannot conceive of calling that child their own, and so most would rather see Japanese women abort over giving the child up for adoption. You can find articles about how even foster parents in Japan can be persecuted in neighborhoods for bringing “reproach” to the area because they are housing children who are not their own and that is “shameful” to the neighborhood group.

So, as I talked to my friend about my brother & sister adopting and my hope for adopting in the future, my friend shook his head and said, “we Japanese cannot understand adoption. Why do you want to adopt?”

Why do we adopt? This opened the door for the beautiful, Gospel picture of adoption. I explained how when we read the Bible we see that once we were enemies of God, but now, as Christians, we are children of God. I explained how Japanese cannot understand how someone without the family blood can be considered family, and yet Christians share the blood of God’s perfect Son, Jesus, and how we see ourselves as the orphaned – once without the Father, but now through the Son and His work, adopted as sons and daughters.

Pray that the image of adoption will sink into the heart of this Japanese man and that he will be eager to cry out to his Creator Father. Pray that Japanese Christians would boldly lead the charge in their country to start a culture of adoption in their nation in order to show the love of the Father through their families. Pray for those of us who are sons and daughters, that we would be eager to speak of and share about our loving Father.

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