Question: “What conversations can we have with our 9-year-old daughter and our 11-year-old son to inoculate them from the sexual perversions they will come across in the church, etc.?”
Question: “How do I protect my children from sexual temptation?”
“Inoculate them”? Impossible. “Protect them from temptation”? Only to a degree. Equipping them to endure temptation is the only effective recourse.
The infallible Word of God tells us that God will not put more temptation on us than we are able to bear. That must mean either that God regulates us, by means of teaching and grace, in proportion to the level of temptation we will encounter, or that he places a governor on the temptation to prevent it from exceeding our abilities to resist—or both. Either way, it is clear that our Heavenly Father manages our exposure and resistance to temptation. Shouldn’t you do the same for your child? Most of us attack the temptation, leaving the child in a vacuum of innocence, not realizing the need to equip the child to be an overcomer, even in our absence, in the face of great temptation.
Do not put your children in a place where temptation becomes more than they can bear. And do not expect a once-a-year talk on sex to “inoculate” them against temptation. Neither should you rest in the security system you designed to stop temptation from getting to them. You cannot just teach—you must actually prepare them to resist temptation in your absence. Negative rules and warnings and threats are necessary but not sufficient.
Read and reread the following statement: You must meet all the social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of your children before they are tempted. It is dangerous to allow a child who needs affirmation of his worth to be tempted. The temptation may offer fulfillment of that need. You cannot let a child face temptation who feels the need for companionship and approval. You cannot let a child face temptation who feels intellectually deprived of a rudimentary knowledge of sex. He will receive information from anyone who offers it.
You cannot let a vacuum of companionship and approval develop in your children’s lives. If you do, they will be willing at the first opportunity to lower their standards to gain the approval and acceptance necessary to be part of a social order. Further, if they don’t have good friends who are good, they will make good friends of the bad boys and girls that enter their circle of acquaintances. I have noticed in our own church, when visitors come with their young teenage kids, the discontent and rebellious among them will always locate one particular teenager among our own who is equally unhappy. A kid exuding darkness will walk into a room, survey it, and immediately be drawn to like spirits. It will happen every time. In five minutes you will see them standing off on their own, talking quietly. Either kid would be angry if you tried to monitor his social life, for they can only find kinship in unapproved darkness.
Parents of such children cannot redeem them apart from a complete Holy Ghost revival. There may be a shade of darkness in the soul of your child. If so, do not make the mistake of thinking that by “cracking down” or by teaching them about sex you are going to cure the problem. It is a soul problem, and it cannot be met with religion or law. The church is not the answer. Your own soul—the soul of the family—is the only cure. When the child’s vacuums are filled with fruit and flowers, they will not journey through the thorns and thistles seeking beauty.
Don’t put them in the place where they are under the influence of questionable kids that are older than they, or kids with stronger, more dominant personalities. Understand, they have a need to belong, to fit in, to not be the lonely oddball. If their self-image is fed and sustained at home, children can go outside the family into a negative environment and not be troubled by being the outsider, at odds with the tone and flow of the conversation and activities. They can leave the mountaintop of moral nurturing and walk through the valley of stupidity and shame, resisting its appeals, because all their human needs for socializing and acceptance have been met on the mountaintop to which they know they will soon return. But if you take a kid who is a vacuum of unfulfilled human needs into the place of corruption, he will find satisfaction holding hands with the devil. Every kid will give his heart to someone. If not to you—to the family—then whom? It is just a matter of time and opportunity.
Kids who are unfulfilled attract their opposites like magnets. There are children who have experimented with evil and have yielded to its lure. The excitement and power it offers has filled them with captivating experiences and stimulating “secrets.” They have a compulsion to seek out the most vulnerable, hungry souls, enchanting them with tales of their journey down forbidden paths. It is the original temptation, the lure of obtaining the knowledge of good and evil, to go where you are not supposed to and discover the things so exciting and stimulating that one feels empowered by the very knowledge of it. The vulnerable children are flattered by the attention and confidence of their new—bigger and cooler—mentor. Now they have a “true friend” who values them enough to let them in on the “secrets” that can make them like the gods, “knowing good and evil.” The fallen innocent will defend their choice with, “Well, my parents never understood me or cared.”
After a verbal introduction into the intoxicating experience of sexual experimentation has stirred their curiosity and lust, they will then seek a time and place to journey down the dark path of personal experience. It may be the path to the upstairs bedroom, or the kids’ “play house” in the back yard. It may be in the garage of a friend or in the woods or empty lots, but be sure, when kids want to skulk away to a dark corner to drink from the devil’s cup, they will find opportunities where you are sure none exist. If they are determined, there is no such thing as protecting them. You cannot build enough fences without; you must build fences within.
How do we meet all those needs before they are met by the dark side? Every family is different, yet sweet balance always looks the same—a family that has fun together, sharing common goals, sharing a vision that gives great hope for the future. This family is part of a community of like-minded believers who provide all the social needs of the children; they are well-instructed and delight themselves in God; and they are engaged in life, creating, learning, and growing together. In short, their favorite people in all the world are members of their own family.
But each family is different in that we are all at different starting points, on either end of a pendulum. Some families are too legalistic and religious while others are too irreverent and secular. Some families are too busy seeking worldly success while others live in the doldrums of apathy and inactivity. Some families are filled with “christian psychology,” practicing “positive affirmation” until their kids think words have no meaning; others talk down to the kids, thinking they are preventing them from becoming prideful, or they think negative criticism will correct negative behavior.
I don’t know where your family is or how it got there. Maybe you don’t either. So start over. Love God until you sing praise to him in your dreams. Love your wife or husband until they giggle in the presence of the kids. Love your church (the people) to the point of sacrificing for the needy. Love sinners to the point that you pray for them and share the gospel with them. Love your children so much that you smile every time you look at them. End negative speech about everybody and everything except sin and the devil. Make yourself and your family healthy with good eating and exercise. Experience the excitement of learning and growing with your children. Learn anything useful and do anything productive. Make money, make music, make a garden, make everybody laugh. Through a variety of experiences, let each child discover his own interests and then excitedly aid him in pursuing his goals.
Above all, do what God did to equip us: teach Bible stories. God tells us that all the stories of the Bible, Old and New Testament, are given as an example for our learning. These stories impart knowledge, wisdom, fear of walking in sin, judgment, and appreciation for righteousness and God’s sweet blessings. The very knowledge your children gain will give them understanding regarding the deceitfulness of sin and the blessings of obedience. These old stories are there not only to teach our minds, but also to mold our hearts. The child who is not personally acquainted with many Bible stories is handicapped in overcoming evil. I am talking about Bible stories, not applications, not principles, not sweet little examples you come up with; plain old Bible stories. Have your children study and teach Bible stories. Discuss sin and righteousness and memorize the words of God found in the King James Bible, forming a worldview from which they will never depart.
Then make sure that the family moves in a social circle that provides a variety of potential spouses. When thirteen- and fourteen-year-old kids can fix their dreams upon a potential spouse—even if the object of their admiration changes monthly—they will live so as to be accepted by those people they admire and whose approval they must have in order to be considered a worthy spouse.
If you would like to hear more, I recently delivered a message on this subject. Feel free to copy the message and distribute it to others. If you do not have online capabilities you can purchase a CD through our store.
Also, read for my wife’s books for children, Yell and Tell: A Warning for Children Against Sexual Predators. It is a simple rhyme and rhythm of a mother teaching her son how to respond if and when he is approached sexually by another child or even an adult family friend. It is an invaluable tool.
I can’t thank you enough for this article. As a survivor of child abuse and neglect, I’m amazed at how “free” and trusting people can be with their children (my father molested every single kid that came to sleep over). Six years ago I begged my sister not to allow my father in the house after being released from prison, but unfortunately she choose to let him live with them and recently found out that one of her daughters was molested. She knew he had molested me and at least 15 more children, but she chose to ignore the evidence and trust him. She reasoned that he would never hurt a grandchild.
The hardest part [for us] as parents who tended to be naive, was discovering the evil that occurred when we thought we were protecting our children.
We learned the hard way that few people could be trusted as caregivers in our absence. I am glad we trained our children from young ages that there were private areas of their bodies that no one should view or touch. It was the areas their underwear covered or anywhere else they felt was private. They were likewise not to view or touch other people’s private areas. When a sitter violated a private area our son was quick to tell us. We had left with plans, but when we got to our nearby destination I told my husband I had a bad feeling and asked to go back home. We arrived and sensed something wrong. Our son came to us and told us what happened. He said he was worried about getting the person in trouble. We reassured him that the adult was wrong and had no right to secrets.
Unfortunately, we learned that taking in an unwanted seven-year-old niece to raise had damaging, lasting effects on our other children. We were unaware of the evil done to her at young ages. It came out in her actions to our youngest son, a four-year-old. The hardest part of this kind of evil is the sneakiness that is perfected by the one carrying on the action. Who would expect a throw-away child to even know about the things she did or asked our young son to do?
I also learned I should have accompanied my daughter even on an afternoon play visit to the Christian family next door. In my absence a grandfather took liberties. When I learned that this man babysat the children frequently, we reported it.
Evil things were brought into our home both by our niece and later by a boy. One youth we were asked to supervise for a weekend was briefly left alone with our daughter when her brothers left the room. He took advantage of the brief minute to expose himself. She immediately told us, and we questioned the boy. He admitted his action and implicated his father from our church. The boy said his dad did the same and more to his sister and that was why his mom left with his sister. Yikes!
Without our presence we also have no way of knowing if another child is experimenting with same gender play. In a very young child I handled it as you suggested. In an older child, protection is the only way. Our daughter reported a church friend’s attempts to introduce her to lesbian acts during a sleepover. The girl was only 12 years old! That eliminated sleepovers.
Thank you, Mr. Pearl, for writing this article. I was a girl who “walked [through] the valley of the shadow of shame” and experienced the heartbreak of having parents turn their backs in anger and disgust. It took a pregnancy and almost a marriage to bring us together as a family again. Now we are fighting to save my little daughter from the sexual addict that is her father. PLEASE, parents who are reading this, heed Mr. Pearl’s instruction so that you may avoid tragedy. I thank God for His grace. I am the “piece of trash that God lifted from the ground and holds to His heart.” —A Mom
Thank you for your article. I have a step-son who is 11 who was caught doing stuff with my little girls. I had five little girls at the time and was due to have another any day. In fact, I had been in labor when it all happened, which distracted me long enough for this to happen. (Believe me, the weight of protecting and raising so many girls hit me hard at that moment.)
He had been exposed to porn and had been exploring on my little girls. He is here, he is mine, but not mine biologically, but what is my husband’s is mine....he has been repentant, but I don’t trust him fully anymore. He has taken out his anger about the situation on my girls. Like they were his temptation and I know they still are that, a temptation, though he doesn’t wish to go there again. My oldest involved was 6. You have mentioned how to deal with many things, little kids and older ones. But what about when it’s older ones with little ones? I don’t want to shun the boy so he gets ahead down a wrong path, and am lost at how to help my girls because they were exposed to more than the usual “exploring”. If I boot him out, his chances are next to none elsewhere, nor will my husband allow it. There’s not really anywhere to “send” him either. Here is all he’s got. I tried the thing with my girls of letting the curiosity just go, but their curiosity has been sparked in more than the usual, and it seems to be harder for them to dump. I’m not looking to sign any of the kids’ passes into hell in any sense. —A Stepmom
What sound advice. I still think of my childhood from time to time with sadness. When I was little, my girl cousin and I apparently had been caught touching each other...something I don’t even remember, but when I was older my father brought it up to me in a moment of anger, with such disgust that it really did damage to the way I viewed myself, as well as my relationship with my father. I had also been molested at the age of ten by a family friend. The combination of the two incidents wore away at my self-respect.
When I was 15, I sinned gravely. I attended a church camp and fell head over heels for one of the young directors. After two months of being hard to get, I let myself fall prey to his charms, and we had a sexual encounter. Several months later, my guilt was so great that I confessed everything to my parents and told them I wanted to start right. It was the worst mistake I could have made, and I wish I had never told them. Their response was so heart-breaking. They told me it was too late to start right. My father never, ever fully forgave me. There were times I think he tried, but he never let it go. In moments of anger, he would throw it, and anything else he could, in my face. One time he threw a book at me and it hit my glasses and broke them. Any time he saw me within ten feet of another boy, he would accuse me of flirting or being inappropriate, reminding me that I could not be trusted after what I had done.
When I was 17, my good friend went to the military. He and I wrote letters to each other, which I found out from my dad (in another of his angry moments) that he had been reading behind my back, and didn’t understand how I could have a sweetheart behind his back, and called me a “whore.”
When I turned 18, I left my parents’ home. I just packed three suitcases, took out all of my savings and bought a plane ticket to California, where I met up with my military friend. We lived together for three years, two of which were spent in fornication. I thought, what did it matter, I was a whore anyway. Two years ago, we both came back to the Lord. He really got hold of us. We got married and are now expecting our first child. Parents, know this: I would most likely never have “jumped ship” if I had only been forgiven and loved by my parents. At 15, I had a heart that desperately wanted to follow God from that point on. However, when my parents didn’t forgive me, I felt that God would not forgive me either. I know that is not Biblical, as our Lord forgives us with certainty, however a 15-year-old girl’s broken heart does not see herself through God’s eyes, but through a “glass darkly.” How I wish my parents had responded with God’s love and justice, instead of anger and disdain. Even now, I have very little relationship with any of my family. It took many years for me to understand that the floodgates of God’s forgiveness and mercy were already opened up to me the day His Son died for my sins. Parents, please heed Bro. Pearl’s advice. Do not try to be more holy than God. His mercy is the height of holiness. Don’t give up on your children, just as He did not give up on you.
I was actually going to write you at one time and ask if you would address this subject. I am one of 14 children, and my father and two of my brothers molested me; my father also molested another sister. One of the brothers lured me, by fear, to allow a neighbor boy to do certain things. The molestation stopped at around the age of 12, thankfully. But as a Christian now, I still have to occasionally fight off bizarre sexual thoughts that want to come in. It affects you for the rest of your life. My father did, as an older man, call me when I grew up and with tears asked for forgiveness. This was only because another sister found out about it and confronted him. When I asked him why he did it, you know what he said? He said it was because my mother did not give him ‘affection’, and that I was a very affectionate child. How sad and sick.
Being molested myself, I was very leery of anyone “babysitting” my kids. My husband and I never allowed sleepovers. We never allowed other children to play in the room with them alone. I never allowed even my own two children to play in the room together without the door wide open and me in the next room. Last but not least, I prayed diligently for years that the Lord would protect them from ever being molested. I believed that if I prayed this diligently, that it was according to His will and I would have the request I ask of Him. That is not what happened.
A few years back, because of certain circumstances, my husband and I took in a boy the same age as our son and...you guessed it...even with all my ‘safeguards’ in place, this 11-year-old boy—who was raised in an ungodly home—told my kids very sordid graphic details about sex, all in a ‘funny’ way. That was his thing. To make it funny. And to my horror, they began to laugh and go along with it. Then one day, he went up behind my younger child and tried to simulate the marital act upon the backside. This was in the next room to me! No doors even closed, and within my earshot. Later my children even told me that he would talk about sordid things even in the car with me driving. I was right there!
I have fasted and prayed that the Lord would remove this child permanently from our home, and my husband has agreed that if the Lord provides another open door, he will have him leave. Please, please, Mr. Pearl (and staff), pray that the Lord opens the door for him to go live with his other relatives!
As you know, adoption has become very popular in the church, among popular ministries, and there are so many Christians adopting older, international children, and often damaged children, and then suffering great heartbreak. They are confused, as they believed they were doing God’s will, obeying the Bible to care for orphans, etc....and this is happening. Yet, because of the nature of the subject, they are suffering silently, and confused. Any advice would be appreciated. —A Mom
Right here in our own community a family adopted three children from Liberia. We warned them, but they were so caught up with good feelings about how they were sacrificing their lives to save poor starving children from orphanages that they danced their way into tragedy. They have several children younger than the three adopted kids, who, unknowing to them, were well-versed in all the dark arts of eroticism and ghastly perversion.
We have received many letters from families who have adopted children from overseas, quite a few from Liberia, and nearly every one of them—if not all—told sad stories of the fall of their natural children into sexual deviance.
I will say this again. Never adopt children even close to the age of your own. You should be past child-bearing age, and your children should be at least 10 to 15 years older than the adopted kids. I don’t think there is any such thing as an orphanage-raised child who has not been a participant in sexual perversion. If you are older and your kids are grown, it is a wonderful, full-time ministry to adopt foreign kids. You will experience heartache, possibly failure, but you may just save a soul from sure destruction. But if there is failure, at least your kids will not go down with them.
A foster mom’s dilemma. We had a foster daughter this year, and she had been molested. We had no idea, and she acted out with one of my sons. I had so much guilt, as I know that you say, “Always watch your children.” I had failed in my role as a guardian, and I was sick at heart. —A Mom
It is impossible to watch thoroughly enough to prevent two kids from finding time alone. Your mistake was having the girl in the house with your children. Foster parenting is for people whose children are grown or for families with older children who take in the very young.
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I have 4 daughters ages 9, 7, 4, and 1. I recently began to watch 2 boys ages 5 and 2. My 4 year old told me that the 2 year old touched her private. I questioned him and thought maybe it was an accident, because he is so young. Then later that day he had a Dr. playset and asked if he could play Dr. I told him that was fine. I thought he meant checking temperature and blood pressure that sort of thing. Well moments later he told me that my 4 year old wouldn't let him play Dr. so after questioning my daughter she said he was trying to touch her and she told him he would get in trouble. And she said he was trying to sit on her lap. So I asked him who he plays Dr. with and he told me his 5 year old brothers name. So I explained to him that he can't touch anyones private and no one should touch his. He acted as though he had no idea it was wrong. When the mother arrived I spoke to her about the incedent and at first it seemed as though she didn't believe me, but then she appologized and vowed to talk to the boys about it. I guess my question is,Are these acts a learned behavior or are children instinctively curious? I have been diligent about teaching my girls to never let anyone touch them in their private areas and to always tell. And my 4 year old did tell and refused to let him touch her. I just don't know if I should continue to watch the boys, even in plain sight. I would appreciate your insight.
We are presently in the process of adopting two infants from ethiopia aprox 9 mo and 18 months. our youngest child is 2 and we plan to have more children in several years. Is this unsafe? I would like to hear what you have to say about adopting very young children.
Sound advice. Thank you, Mr. Pearl.
If I were you, I would stop watching those boys immediately. My Mom watched kids from secular backgrounds because we needed the money, but those things happened all the time;and they leave scars within forever. I still struggle with my husband touching me, and it hurts him a lot. Save your daughters from this pain & find another way to make money.
I am a survivor of incest and molestation by several members in my biological family. I spent years in self destruction and then recovery. If you have been a victim of this evil, or know someone who has, there is a book that can help them: Door of Hope: Recognizing and Resolving the Pains of Your Past, by Jan Frank. It is a Christian book written by a psychologist who was once a victim herself. It brought the healing to my soul that none of the other "zillion" books I read, or hours in recovery I spent, could do.
I don't think it was appropriate to single out Liberian children as being preditors. Perhaps this event actually occurred and maybe they were Liberian adoptive children, I'll have to take your word on that, but to leave the impression that Liberian orphans or children from overseas are predisposed to be sexually deviant is not a fair assessment. I will give you this- not everyone is called to be an adoptive parent. Especially not those who think they are doing something wonderful for a "poor orphan".
Now I will tell you I am an adoptive parent of a Liberian child who is going to be hurt by your words. It is an accusation and a seed planted in the mind of your readers to beware the adopted child.
We chose to start fostering younger children when our 4 kids were leaving the home and following after the paths God had set for them. It has been a challenging, but very rewarding experience! Yes, I'm glad we waited until our birth children were much older. Now, however, we feel like we are sowing good seed into these foster children. What a privilege to show them how a Christian family lives and loves! They have never seen anything like it before and the truth and realness of it definitely resonates in their soul. What they will do with it later, only God knows. God has not left these kids without hope nor has He intended them to be shut out of the Christian community. He will help them if their hearts even begin to turn toward Him just as He will help all of us.
Thank you for speaking up for those of us who were wounded by the neglect of our parents. I come from a very "Godly" family - I have no doubt that both of my parents love the Lord with all their hearts but they missed the elephant in the room. My mother was so busy doing GOOD and being active in our church, she never noticed and was always so quick to criticize and lecture. My older brother by 4 years molested me for 2 years, from the time I was 6/7 until I was 9, when I finally stood up to him and told him that God saw him if our parents did not and I wouldn't stand for it anymore! All thanks to my forgiving, gracious, Heavenly Father, that stopped him - and years later I finally forgave him. But oh the horrible reverberations that has sent through my life. I am not a victim and I hate that title, and I know compared to what the majority has faced - my drama pales in comparison, but I'll never escape the results of those psychoemotionally destructive years. I lost my virginity to a "church-going" boy because I so desperately wanted to please him. Again, my gracious Lord had mercy on me and brought into my life a beautiful, wonderful, "Mr. Steady". But I can barely stand for him to touch me, he is my hero but I hate to kiss him, he is my best-friend but I hate holding his hand. I injure my husband's lovely spirit and he has no clue why because I would die before revealing my disgusting secret to him. To my knowledge, to this day, my brother, myself and my Lord are the only ones who know of this perfidious family history. The Lord has still blessed us with two beautiful babies (a son and daughter) and I hope to have many more, but I am so paranoid! I have yet to leave my 2-yo, and 1-yo with anyone and fear the day when they will expect a certain amount of freedom to roam our farm. They are best friends right now, I pray the Lord gives me wisdom to never harm that relationship but also the common sense to safeguard them no matter what. But again, I thank you and your family for being such a blessing to me and mine. We live in joy and precious peace through the goodness of Christ and the direction you so generously labor to give. Thank you, God Bless!
Thank you so much for writing this article. I was molested a few times by an older cousin when I was about 5 or 6 years old. Through the years, I didn't carry resentment or anger toward that cousin as much as I did toward my mom for her oblivious parenting. She often dropped me off with my cousins (5 boys) and would run errands. I needed my mom to protect me and to be more aware. All of those cousins are some of the most sexually perverted people I have ever met. It took time, but God has given me the grace to forgive my mom even though she still never knew what happened. Moms, it is our job to protect our children. No one else will do it and many are waiting to take advantage of them. Be one guard ALWAYS - even to the most unsuspecting
I am so sad to see such a negative viewpoint toward adoption and fostering with so many parameters being set up by man with regards to orphan care and fostering. It is God's command to care for orphans and widows in their distress. This, according to Scripture, is pure and undefiled religion. Nowhere in the Bible does it set parameters on WHO should care for orphans (older couples past child-bearing years, etc.), nor does it set parameters on the value of the life of an orphan (regardless of the child's history or being raised in an orphanage). All children are precious in His sight, regardless of what country they live in or whether they were orphaned or have lived in an orphanage or have suffered abuse. They are valued by God and He asks us to care for them. No child ever asks to be hurt/molested (including our bio kids), and all children (and adults) are valued and redeemable. His blood is our redemption. There is no sin too great for redemption, but if we all turn our backs on the orphans who God calls us to care for, they may never know redemption.
I am deeply saddened to see you scare off families from living out James 1:27 by setting your own parameters upon adoption and fostering. I would like to answer each and every one of you who have questioned whether or not you should adopt or foster to not be influenced by man, but to seek God, seek His Word, ask for His wisdom, be obedient to His call. Do not allow man to keep you from obedience to our Father's Word. I agree that not everyone is capable of adopting or fostering, but if God calls you, He will equip you to do His will. If God calls you to adopt and/or foster, He wants your obedience, regardless of the age of your bio children, regardless of where you are in your child-bearing years, regardless of man's fear and warnings.
I highly recommend Dr. Karyn Purvis' book The Connected Child if you are considering adoption or fostering. It is a Christian book with much insight and help for families caring for orphans.
We've broken all of the "rules" set by Mr. Pearl here. We've adopted children the exact same age as our bio children, we've adopted children older than our bio children, we've adopted children who no one else has wanted to adopt, and we are allowing God to write our story instead of disobeying His direct call and writing our own story. A story not authored by God Himself is not one we are interested in. We have witnessed redemption first-hand, and it is glorious. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing a child who was once discarded, unloved and abused flourish into a God-fearing young woman who adores the Lord and serves Him wholeheartedly. Saved. Redeemed by the blood of the lamb through the obedience of a family who wasn't afraid of man's warnings, a family who has allowed God to write our story and display redemption first-hand.
Delayed obedience is disobedience. Partial obedience is disobedience. Do not let man sway you from obeying God. Seek Him first.
You may read about our family and witness His mercy and redemption on our blog at http://www.AllArePreciousInHisSight.blogspot.com. I am not stating this to try to get traffic to our blog, I just want our story to be an encouragement to any of you who have been scared by what you've read here.
Romans says that we are adopted into God's family. He didn't look at us and say that we were too messed up (we were) or that it wasn't worth it. But he gave his "only begotten Son" that we could join the family, and Jesus could be "the firstfruits among many brethren." If adoption was a good enough way for God to add us to His family, why isn't it good enough for us? Are we supposed to have so little faith in God's ability to protect our families that we must forsake His call to care for the fatherless to try to protect them ourselves? That said, I have no "natural-born" children. The only children God has given me are through adoption. Adoption can be a beautiful picture of what God did for us. We have used your child training and marriage materials since our son was 2, and our children are obedient, fun and God-fearing, even if they are all adopted out of orphanages. Also, my husband is a pastor, and in that capacity, we have counseled several girls who have been sexually abused, and never was there an adopted family member involved--always a biological one or an adult boyfriend of mom. Not to say it doesn't happen--obviously it does, but it happens in families where all members are biologically related too, and it is unfair to vilify all adopted children for something that they might do later or might have been exposed to. However, the lady who is watching the boy who tried to touch her daughter's privates; I wouldn't watch him anymore. She needs to protect her daughters.
James 1:27 (NKJV)
27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
I'm sorry. I guess God didn't get your message and forgot to include all the constraints about ages, family stages, child bearing age, etc. All orphanage kids have experienced sexual abuse and perversion? That is one of the most skewed, uninformed and ignorant statements I've heard heard about international adoption. We have been involved in International adoption for a long time and know countless families and Christians who run the orphanages. You have done them a GREAT disservice by making such an untrue, unproven and unprovable statement.
Your advice is anti-biblical concerning adoption, and your facts are incorrect as well.
We are part of the adoption community, and know many, many adoptive parents. The "failure" rate among adoptive placements is about 1%. Let's keep things in perspective. Our daughters (by birth) were 6, 4, and 1 when we adopted a child with Down syndrome (who would have faced certain death in an adult mental institution otherwise) when she was 14 months old. Chloe has brought absolutely no heartache to our family. In fact, she has done nothing but enrich our lives. While sexual abuse does aoccur in orphanages, you are painting with far to wide a brush when you claim"all" orphans are "participants" in this. (That term is incredibly misleading also. How insulting to imply victimized children are "participants" in their abuse.) Even if that were true (it's not), Jesus does not say,"Do the safe and easy thing. The thing that will give you no challenges, no potential pain, no hurdles to overcome." Let's stick to what scripture actually says. As far as I know, you are not an expert on adoption, and since that expertise is lacking, perhaps you should stop before others are frightened into not adopting. I exhort you to repent.
'Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is within the power of your hand to do so...'
Our Lord has asked several of us to come forward to this calling, we must believe that he will provide and guide. Thank you.
Mr. Pearl, the Bible says we ought to obey God rather than man. I'm happy to say that 5 years ago, we answered God's call to adopt a 5 year old from an orphanage. God blessed us with a surprise soon after we committed to adopt her, and when our new bio child was 3 months old, we went and completed her adoption. Had we disobeyed God's call, our daughter would probably have been thrown out onto the streets in a few years to become a prostitute. Instead, she is now a God-fearing young woman who has a very sweet and wholesome relationship with her younger brother--that nice surprise God sent! Everyone who sees them interact together marvels at God's wisdom and timing, because the relationship has been so good for them in so many ways. It is good to be educated, and to be wise when adding a child to your home for all the possible issues--sexual abuse of the child included--no matter the age of the child, or the age of the children already in your home. But to try to scare parents with sweeping and blanket statements is not wise.
You say, "I don
As an adopted daughter, I'm a bit bothered by your comments. I find them very hurtful and not truthful in all situations. While there are children out there who have been sexually abused and act out in such a way, there are others who have not. And even so, to recommend that people wait until they are older and past child-bearing years to adopt? And to wait unti their children are grown? I would have missed out on a lot of life had I not had the parents I had. I'm so thankful my parents took a chance on me. While you are entitled to your own opinion. I'm entitled to mine. It'll be interesting to see if you post the comments of those who disagree with you.
Count me as one who also disagrees with your comments regarding adoption. My three adopted daughters and my three birth daughters are a blessing, as are my three foster daughters.
May I respectfully suggest that the while you may possibly receive many letters that claim "natural" children falling into sexual deviance at the hands of their adoptive counterparts, that doesn't mean that all adoptive children are sexual deviants. Those are merely the families who write to you for advice. There are many of us who don't have this problem and you haven't heard from us because we don't need your advice in this area. We are the silent majority. Just because you don't hear from us, doesn't mean that we are not here. The others who have commented here have said things much more eloquently than I can. I think it's sad that this site exhorts those who leave comments to do so in a respectful manner and yet can be so disrespectful to adopted children, their families and those who work so hard on their behalf.
We have 3 biological children ages 13 (girl), 10 (boy) and 5 (girl). Recently we became foster parents to a baby boy. He came to us when he was 6 months old after being in foster care for 2 months. What are your views on fostering or adopting young infants. We would have never considered fostering an older child with our children at home.
In your article, you did not include married, hetrosexual couples who are medically incapable of having their own children as some of the people who ought to consider training up children in the way that they should go. My son, Angel was taken into foster care after i called law enforcement to report that he had been pushed to the floor while he was in my arms by someone who we were staying with temporarily. I had conceived him out of wedlock and i have repented of that as well as being intimate with this man who my children and i stayed with in Feb. and March of 2007. The foster parents who my children were place with are Christians. My daughter, who is ten now, was sent to live with her estranged father after five months in foster care. I have been pursuing custody of her with the court system. Please pray that God gives the presiding judge wisdom on Oct. 5, 2010. I haven't even seen my precious daughter in oer 2 1/2 years although i have visitation rights. Her biological father has already been found to be in contempt of court once because he didn't even tell me where they were living for over a year, all while i have had visitation rights. Lesson learned: never let anyone of the opposite sex move in with you. My daughter's biological father sexually harassed me and exposed himself to me when i refused to perform. At that time my self-esteem was so low, that i felt as though no one cared. I told him repeatedly to move out an he would not. He impregnated me before he finally did leave. This is a very serious situation. I have heeded Bro. Pearls advice, but in order to apply it to the raising of my ten-year-old daughter she has got to be with me instead of the creep who is deliberately preventing me from doing so. Please pray. I have been faithfully praising God in advance for returning custody of her to me. My son is with the couple who he was placed with in March of 2007. The Christian couple and i became good friends during visits that were scheduled by D.S.S. My son adapted to living with them very quickly. He bonded with them and after 13 months i relinquished my parental rights of him so that the couple could adopt him. It was quite obvious to me that if i removed him from the foster home, he would have been traumatized. I never abused my son in any way, not has anyone else; however he was conceived out of wedlock and this couple has been a good role model to him. I was married this past March, and believe that my ten-year-old daughter will benefit from learning about Christian marriages from my husband and i. He was married once in the past and is attempting to gain custody of the children who him and his ex-wife had. Please pray that God's will be done in my family's lives. Thank you.
I really hope and pray that your grandchildren never have anything happen to them, but many other parents have followed the same guidelines you do and still have suffered. It is really rude and unkind of you to assume otherwise.
First of all I would like you to know that I really appreciate you for sharing a lot of very informative and useful articles for free. Though some of your views may hit it hard to some, I understand the intent of your heart. You just want to share to the best of your knowledge and ability. I do believe with you that we should use proper judgment and wisdom before we proceed with our plans especially on things that would impact the future of our children. When it comes to adopting, after a long prayer and consideration, if you feel that God still lead you to proceed, then by all means do it. Just be vigilant though ...as the Bible says, we should be as wise as a serpent in our ways.
Thank you for your interesting views. I am a Christian and I have to disagree with your statement about adoption. I have three children. 2 are adopted and our biological son is right in the middle of them. Our children are a gift and the Lord led us to adopt them. The Lord calls us to take care of the widow and the orphan (James 1:27). I do not see where the Lord says wait until your biological children are older. If the Lord leads someone to adopt, they need to step out in obedience to that call, even if it is difficult. Adoption is never easy and there are risks but I fully believe that God is bigger and can walk us through whatever trial we face.
And, for those of us who HAVE adopted older children, we DID count the cost. Thing is, we just realized the cost was worth it. Sure am glad that Jesus counted the cost to adopting us and deemed that worth it as well.
Although our family has enjoyed your ministry greatly in the past (and continue to do so), I was very saddened to read your comments in the most recent issue regarding adoption. As the older sister of three adopted siblings from China and Korea, your statements were extremely hurtful to me. All three of my little brothers were abandoned as infants and spent their first two years in a government run orphanage. Are you saying that it would have been more 'Christian' for our family to have left these precious boys in their orphanages? That we shouldn't have taken the dangerous risk of adopting orphans who need a home and the Gospel message?? The Lord calls us to care for widows and orphans in James 1:27. He doesn't put any qualifications on that command. I am greatly saddened to know that your comments will more than likely prevent some families who read your magazine from adopting. To say that ALL children in orphanage have been sexually abused is wrong. Some, perhaps. But you can't make such a generalization regarding all orphans world wide. These children desperately need families of their own. On behalf of the world's orphans as well as all adoptive families, could you please amend your statements in your next issue of NGJ. Or, could you at least publish some of these comments even if you do not agree.
I just wanted to stop by to tell about the joy of my nine blessings. They range in age from 3-20. We have bio children, and have adopted children from birth, and at ages 1,7,8,9,10, and 11. Some domestically and some internationally. We have faithfully followed the Lord as He has led us to older child adoption many times WHILE we have younger children in the home. We are not ignorant. We are aware. We have done our homework and set up precautions. But I could not sit here in peace while still in my 30s and wait twenty years to provide a loving Christian home to these oprhans. Plus, it has changed the lives of the other children in my home in such positive ways. They have learned to seek less of self and more of Him. Thanks for letting me share my family's amazing experience with adoption. I want families interested in adoption to seek to Lord for His wisdom and advice and to not blindly follow anyone else's opinion.
I agree with Mr. Pearl. I know MANY familys who fostered and adopted children who ended up molesting their own bio children. They said if they could do it again they would not take the chance. Yes not all orphan children are sexually experienced and active but its often times that you don't find out till its too late. I totally agree with Mr.Pearl raise your own children, when they are grown & God is calling you to adopt well then follow His will and do so.
I am saddened by the overall tone of your article on fostering/adoption. My husband and I have been foster parents for 5 years, we have 7 children. Our bio children are, 6 mths, 2,5,9 & 10, one adopted child, 9 and one foster child, 2 yrs. I have always respected your views and really enjoyed your magazine and other publications. But here's what happened the other day and sparked my coming to your website to read this article. Two days ago we recieved a placement call about our 2 yr old foster son/possible adoption placement, we prayed then agreed to take him into our home. The next day I was talking on the phne with a friend and mentioned we have have a new child in our home. She was very concerned, because of your article. We had a short conversation about it and that was that. Your article really impacted her thinking and made her view foster care/adoption move from a postive one to a negitive one. How sad. After her phone conversation, I now feel uneasy attending weekly bible study, with her. I feel as if my adopted son ( whom she has no problem with previously)& foster child will be looked down upon, viewed as a 'bad kid' among the other children, thanks to your article for explaing just how dangerous these children can be. At 2, he did not make the decision to be born into a disfuncitional family. God is in control of his life, and we beileve our home is what God has for him at this point. God can make beauty from ashes. Everyone of the ladies I bible study with recieves your magazine. Will you have then swayed their thinking as well? This group of women, hold dear the call of biblical womanhood and mothering. I respect them and have found a gem in the ladies of this group among the too many liberal womens groups in my area. Am I now to be removed from my circle of friends due to over generalization of this topic? You do influance many people, please be careful in the words you use. You make good points, things to watch for, precautions to be aware of, but God is in control of each of these little lives - He has the power to heal. I'm proof. My birth was the product of an affair my father had with a teenager, my adoptive-mother, his wife agreed to take me in, I was a newborn baby at the time. My father then molested me for 3 years as a young child and was also abusive in other ways to both my mother and me. We fleed for our lives, they divorced when I was 5. I am now 30. I never acted out my abuse on anyone. I had problems, but who dosen't? My mother just died 3 weeks ago. One of the things I am most greatful for was her love and compassion not to judge me on my beginnings but to see me as God does, precious in His sight. To take a chance and give me love and show me Christ through her actions. Her doing that was a major way God spoke into my life and saved me. That is what we strive to do as foster/adoptive parents.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
I didn't realize we were supposed to ADD to Gods word. As a follower of Christ I believe His word to be 100% accurate with no need to add to it. God sent his son Jesus to give his life so that we could be adopted sons and daughters. He calls ALL Christians to care for orphans and widows. He didn't give an age or set "rules" for that obedience. As an adoptive mom I know the risks, we've weighed those risks. They aren't weighty enough to NOT obey the word of my almighty God and King. My son is WORTH it! These are my children, they aren't the "adopted kids". I have four, soon to be five children! Some happen to be by birth and some by adoption. ALL are children of God, all are my pride and joy. My heart aches for the damaging words you spew here. The tainted opinion you give on adoption. The blessings you are missing out on because of this point of view.
Thanks for sharing some much needed wisdom on this subject. God is good, and has delivered us from much evil and destruction. But it does take much wisdom to combat all the forces arrayed against us. I was also entangled in pornography, lust and various uncleanness as a teenager. There were many safeguards in place from church, family, and community. But they were not enough to squelch the monster within. In my case there were two steps that were key to my freedom. The first was when I was rebaptised in the Name of Jesus. After 10+ years as a believer I could not claim Romans 6 as my freedom from sin until I was first baptized as the scripture indicated in Romans 6:3 and Acts 2:38
This resulted in a cutting off of the sins of the flesh that eclipsed all previous prayers, repentance, and struggles against sin. The second key for our family was to recognize and remove the strongholds that existed in our lives. And that our bent towards perversion was largely spirit driven (i.e. spirits of darkness). Here is briefly what it took to
First off, Michael Pearl is human and his words are not inspired. We all should know this. However, he is an extremely wise man which has been proven time and time again. But no need to write him off because you didn't agree with his opinion on something. I personally loved reading the article and if I have not read any of his articles, my kids would probably be spending the night at cousins houses on the weekends or watching tv all day. There are actually some really naive people who just don't know all that goes on in this world. We hear about it, but may not eyewitness it. I never once thought Mr. Pearl was trying to make orphans appear to be garbage and no one should adopt them. He was basically just warning those who don't have a clue. Think about it, he gets thousands of letters and hears way worse stories than what we could even imagine from people. Adoption is definately a calling from the Lord but we can all admit it's become a new "trend" in the church. And a good one don't get me wrong. But it should take much consideration and prayer and education before one jumps into it because of the "good feelings" a couple gets for saving a starving orphaned child. I'm thankful for the article. It makes me aware of the dangers out there that i'm unfamilar with. Does it make me want to throw adoption out the window...of course not. Who knows? Maybe someone has been praying about adoption and this article was the Lord's answer to tell them to wait. That would seem unusual but His thoughts are not our thoughts. Thank you Mr. Pearl for having the courage to say the things you say even if we don't always like to hear it. I know that all you say and do is out of genuine love for people and i'm sorry if some people take things so personal but i'm sure you're used to it!
I am the adoptive mother of five beautiful children and the foster mother of four more. It really hurts me to see the stereotypes attached to my children because they are adopted/fostered. We are planning to adopt again and when I expressed this desire to my mother, sS]he quoted your statement. I was both shocked and angered.
Do we stop sending out missionaries because some are killed in the mission field? NO! Do we stop adopting because there are problems? NO! Please, Mr. Pear, address adoption fairly and honestly. An orphan's life may depend on your actions!
Firstly, all adoptive parents know that both biological and adopted children are our own. They are simply our children. We don't look at them differently. Secondly, what an upsetting article! My children are not damaged. They are God's precious creations and He delights in them. It breaks my heart that you could add such stigma to adoption by stating that these children are damaged.
Thirdly, we did not enter into adoption to "Save starving children." Ultimately, it is God who saves lives and calls us His own. No one else. We wanted to grow our family and pursued adoption and our boys are the greatest blessings of our lives. One was adopted domestically as an infant and the other is 4 waiting to come home from an orphanage in Ethiopia. God used these boys to rescue us from going thru life without taking time to really live it. He used them to teach us about His love for us; how our Father loves us unconditionally, just as we love our boys. Please re-read James 1:27. Adoption is far more than a "trend." There are 147 MILLION orphans in this world. 147 MILLION people growing up without mothers and fathers to give them direction in life. Adoption is redemptive in so many ways and it pleases our Lord.
Don't go to Egypt! God commands His people not to go to Egypt to look for wives or oil, etc. Don't go to foreign countries to look for children to adopt. There are so many in this country. Adopting children from foreign countries and bringing them here also fosters interracial marriages, another thing that God speaks against. People look to your bible for guidance, don't let the "goodness of your heart" do things that are against God's teachings.
Diane, where in His Word does God "speak against interracial marriage"? I haven't seen that in the OT or NT. First of all, we are all part of the human race -- He says He has "made of one blood all men". Secondly, He does indeed forbid believers to marry unbelievers, even if they share the same skin tone. But He has not forbidden intercultural marriage. Go back and read the story of Moses and you'll see that He struck his sister, Miriam, with leprosy because she criticized Moses for marrying an African woman. Only when Moses interceded for Miriam did God heal her.
I agree with the main point in this article. We are sinners, all, and desperately wicked from birth. Isn't that sound theology? Yet I marvel at how we so easily think our kids would never give in to sexual temptation in our own homes (I mean, we've been so careful), or especially with other more perverse influences. Do we believe God's Word or not? Are we decietful and desperately wicked or not? Sexual perversions, and curiosities will tempt. And those who have never been taught right from wrong from the start, like many orhpans, will have even less guilt or self-control when it comes to this sin. Leading to perversions with whomever they think they can get away with it. Just like any unregenerate kid might do. We are very conservative about this. No sleepovers. Only ONE aunt-like babysitter approved. And at times just NEVER went out, because we could not think of one person we could trust our children with. Both my husband and I have had defiling perverted experiences at sleepovers, church camp, from a neighbor, and with a babysitter in our own experiences alone. By God's grace we were virgins on our wedding day, but those experiences had a powerful negetive affect on both of us that we had to deal with during our marriage years. That was 30 some years ago... with conservative parents! We as parents must wake up about this. Don't pat yourself on the back if you have adopted, or if you think your kids would never..., but rather realize you are likely going to have some issues with sexual sin with your own children and all the more with your adopted children. Sure you might think all is well just now, but these things don't come out til many years later. Better take the wisdom here, and after your children are grown, see if they will admit what really went on in your home. You do not always know! So don't be prideful. Fear God, and learn of wisdom here. My cousin had all of her girls molested over the past couple years from a teen in their church. They had no idea. He was a nice guy and he babysat for them, molested the girls, and threatened them not to tell. They didn't, til a year ago. After that their lives imploded. The oldest daughter had bouts of anger against the parents for not protecting them, and ended up leaving for a year long stint at a counseling center. Don't automatically think all is well. Discern things carefully, and don't trust "good kids" alone with your children. Don't even blindly trust you own children!! And if you know of something going on, take it by the throat in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, and expose it. Expose it!
Mr. Pearl is just cautioning us to be wise and seek more wisdom and knowledge from the Lord. After all God said that his children are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Too many of us are becoming offended at the wrong things instead of listening. If it doesn't apply to you and your situation, then that's wonderful for you. If we continue to be offended by anything and everything what kind of witness is that? Many of us are not seeking God's direction but instead seeking to add some good things to our deed list, also not wise. To Diane...The only reason God warned about intermarrying was because of those other nations worshipping other gods, not because of the nationalities. Remember what happened to Miriam when Moses married a Cushite (black) woman? God was on Moses' side, not Miriams. It all boils down to where we put God in every part of our lives and how clear our ears and heart are to obey Him. Perhaps too things happen in families because as adults we are allowing the busyness of life to cloud both our judgement and lives to the point that we are not paying enough attention to what is really going on with our children. Time to get off the rat race and get back to the basics of taking care of our families correctly. Been there done that, starting over too. Thank you Mr Pearl for your pearls of wisdom.
I have an adopted son who was horrifically abused in every way. Tell me this Mr. Pearl, if, because of circumstances beyond your control, your own young children were left orphans and placed in orphanages where they were abused would you want them to have a chance with a family who loved them? How many older couples with grown children are willing to take on the challenge of raising another family? Not nearly enough! Our son was about to be moved from a bad situation to a even more horrible one where he'd have had very little chance to ever escape or know the Lord. We certainly are not naive and don't live a normal family life but it is worth every second of vigilance! You call adoption a new trend, adoption is the heart of God and if Christians are filled with his Spirit it is no surprise to me that they are drawn to the least of these. We are not called to live safe comfortable lives.
Where we all reading the same article? Out of about 20 paragraphs that Micael Pearl wrote I think maybe four said something about adoption? He didn't even say don't adopt he said wait until it is the right time. Actually it makes a lot more sense for older more experienced couples to adopt because children from troubled backgrounds really can't afford for you to make the mistakes that new or younger parents tend to make. And, quite frankly, all of you who are having "wonderful" adoption experiences really can't testify to that until all of the children in your family reach adult hood and even then you still may not know for sure. Nobody would have ever guessed what happened to me and my parents had no clue. No children should be sterotyped but that is not what Mr. Pearl did. He simply suggested that adoption and fostering is something better handled by more mature people - you know, the kind of people that actually paid attention to the other 16 paragraphs of information.
A little over a year ago, we became foster to adopt parents for a sibling group of a 13 yr old and 6 yr old girls. We have twin boys who were 7 at the time. I always wanted more children but have been told we could never get pregnant on our own. Well, first we had a hard time witht the teenager who had already been sexually active, used drugs, and abused alcohol. It was terrible. I didn't like how she wanted to be so close to my boys and the way she played with them. Also, the way she was around my husband was scary. She treated him more like boyfriend/girlfriend vs. father/daughter. She had never had a father figure in her life, but she could not abide by our rules. Needless to say, she ran away after only living with us for 2 months and we said we could not take her back in our home. We still have her sister who is now 7. She has history of sexual abuse and neglect. She taught our boys all the terms for the female anatomy, made them look up her night gown (which she now has to wear pants or shorts under). She also would wave her panties in front of the boys and show off. Just this week, she has been trying to look in the boys room when she knows they are getting dressed. I have been doubting that we should adopt her. I have been praying continuously for the Lord's will in this situation. To make matters a little more interesting, I just recently discovered that I am pregnant, which is truly a miracle for us! I now question whether or not I can trust her with this little one. Daily we have problems with her inability to obey us. At church, I am constantly telling her to keep her hands away from the babies faces, but yet everytime we around a baby, she immediately puts her fingers or hand in the face of the baby. I know that we do not recommend to anyone to foster children. If we knew then what we know now, we would never had gone thru this. DCS and all the social workers make raising a family nearly impossible. So, I do agree that it just may be for the best of the foster child to have parents who are more mature and have more wisdom after raising their own children; and those who have plenty of training dealing with kids that have special needs due to abuse, neglect, etc. Please help us pray as we make final decision to either adopt or not to adopt.
We have been blessed to be parents of a very precious daughter who was given to us through the miracle of adoption. She was horribly abused and defiled, and we went through much initial pain and suffering with her. I just wanted to share that God's Words are really true. Jesus really can bring beauty for ashes. Our daughter is now almost ten and is as sweet and normal as any child can be. We thank God for His healing power in her life. Mr. Pearl, you speak of the power of Jesus to change lives. Does God not care for the children? Not just your own children and grandchildren, but ALL children? Does He not have all power to change and heal and restore? We are putting our full trust in Jesus as we pursue adopting again. Yes, parenting is a huge risk, but we serve a mighty God. Nothing should be done out of God's order, but I urge you to reconsider your statements about adoption. They are hurtful and offensive to the adoption community ~ both parents and children ~ as well as demeaning to God.
Just for the record, as a child, my parents took in numerous babysitting children and foster children during my childhood years (four years and older). The only time in my life that I was inappropriately touched was by my own older biological sister at age 3, before my parents started taking in other children. It was a one time occurrence that did not happen again as my sister was afraid of Mom catching her. Good parental supervision and clear teaching about boundaries helps a lot of this. Throughout childhood, we often had sleepovers at a close friends home and our house and there were NEVER any inappropriate behavior. It was giggly girl fun and we always poured out every detail to Mom. Having a very close relationship with BOTH parents and talking an insane amount of time with them, along with their diligent prayers, kept us safe. Because I was raised in a giving, loving home with an open door to anyone in need, the same desired arose in my adulthood. Again, God has blessed us with one child (and many more fostered a few years back), and we look forward to more blessings in the future. God is able. I cannot protect and shelter my children, but if I obey God's word, He will be faithful to do His part.
A couple of people have said that God adopted us into his family, and didn't consider us too messed up or defiled to make it worth it, therefore Mr. Pearl is wrong to tell people that children from orphanages are too messed up for us to bother with.
First off, that's not what he is saying at all. Second, the parallel is not correct because his concern is not that the child is too messed up, his concern is the damage that can be done to your biological children. God, in that sense, was in the place of an older parent whose only son (Jesus) was not going to be damaged or affected by adopting us poor sinners.
Someone also said that we don't stop sending missionaries to Egypt because a few get killed. In the first place, 'we' don't send missionaries. They make the choice to go, knowing they may be killed, and we support them as we are called to do. But more importantly, our children are not missionaries. They have been given us to train up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Their time of growing up in our home is a time of protection and training, so that they can be at their fullest potential, most fit and able to carry on God's mission for their life. To suggest that a few 'casualties' in our own families are worth it for the chance of saving a soul is dreadful. If you take in an adopted child, and save him, but lose one of your own to the world, what is the gain? Now, I am NOT saying your child is more important than an orphan from Africa. In God's eyes, they are the same. But the children he has given you directly have to be your FIRST priority. If you fail with them, it doesn't matter how much good you do elsewhere, you have failed as a parent.
Also teach your kids to say no.
Even to adults. Just because someone is in a position of authority does not mean they always have as child's best intrests at heart. A child can say no to anyone in authority if the request makes them feel uncomfortable.
Our three kids were 8, 11 & 13 when we adopted a 4 1/2-year-old. My wife & I (thought we) were very conservative and careful in our parenting - we taught our kids from an early age about God, were active in the church, didn't allow sleepovers & didn't own a TV. We even taught parenting classes in church. But we didn't know there were perverts in the church, neighborhood & even in our extended family, undermining all our carefulness. In the end it wasn't our adopted child who initiated sexually, it was our oldest child who perpetrated against the newest member of our family (common occurrence according to case-worker).
Although God did redeem our broken family beyond expectations; and my wife has taken the wisdom learned from hard knocks to council others who are struggling, I must say we learned deeply the hard way! It took several years before the full picture of brokenness developed in our family & nearly 18 years of pain, fear, anguish and condemnation (self and others – family & neighbors) before the rays of hope in our immediate family became visible - I doubt the relational & emotional damage in extended family will ever truly heal. We came close to losing all our kids when things were darkest, but thankfully God brought wise counselors and therapists alongside to help us navigate the long recovery. NOTE: we tried several therapists before finding any truly helpful ones - some therapists are scary, some are dangerous - don't just settle for one your insurance covers, or one with "Christian" tacked onto their title - find one that has God given wisdom ("Christian" or not) supports the parents while working on healing the child AND that you feel comfortable with - and yes it is very costly.
Do not think adoption or fostering will be roses and cupcakes, that you just love them and treat this child like the rest of your kids and they will just fit in and feel loved and trust you and love you back. There is something fundamentally broken inside children that have been abandoned, neglected and abused that causes many to strongly reject your attempts to love them - the harder you try to love them the more strongly they reject you. You must be seasoned, mature & confident in you parenting (or willing to mature quickly the hard-painful way) AND willing to re-learn parenting in a new way.
I don't know the statistics - likely they’re suppressed so as not to discourage potential adoptive or foster parents - but, I suspect the happy well-adjusted adoptive child, secure in mommy & daddy's love, grateful to be in a loving home and doesn't carry rejection, abandonment, food issues and sexual acting out into the family is rare. NOT saying we shouldn't adopt or foster because the kids are too broken, Mr. Pearl & I are saying, “Go in with your eyes wide open”. You may well be crucifying your hopes and dreams, and self, for the higher calling of working alongside God to redeem these broken souls. Also, fostering brings a whole new level of danger through the meddling over-sight of family services who openly despise Christian beliefs, trusts the word of a broken child before that of a responsible adult and assumes guilty until proven innocent - I'm sure they justly arrived at this mindset dealing with sinful broken people, but it doesn't mitigate the fear & damage their jaundiced view of life brings.
It's possible God brought all the difficult cases into our circle of influence because he specially trained us to help them, so maybe my perception could be skewed; but out of a dozen or more, I've never met one adoptive or foster family that hasn't been nearly or completely broken by the experience. Some recover and have wonderful stories of redemption, others end in disaster; losing born children, complicated legal issues and too often divorce – NEVER do this unless both parents are 100% on-board.
Everything Mr. Pearl wrote is wise council worth considering. I don't think he is trying to discourage adoption, foreign adoption, or orphanage adoptions; he is saying there are MANY inherent dangers all around us to be aware of, and just one of those dangers is not counting the cost of building your family through adoption or foster care when you have impressionable children still in training.