God Still Loves People Who Abandon Their Children

I heard a story awhile back, about a family who adopted a child and then un-adopted him when things didn’t work out…

I’m not sure if it was this story of Beth and Tom Remboldt:   “Love Can’t Always Conquer All.”

Or if it was this story of the Conners:  “Giving Up Adopted Children.”

Or if it was this article that mentioned Torry Ann Hansen, who put her 7-year-old back on a plane and sent him back to Russia alone: “Broken Adoptions.”

It could have been one of hundreds of stories of “re-homing”/”re-placement” of adopted children that are out there.

“A recent investigation by Reuters found Internet message boards dedicated to re-homing — with a new child advertised about once a week. While legal adoptions are handled through courts, a simple power-of-attorney document can shuffle kids to another guardian. Reporters discovered that with such little oversight, children were sometimes abused in their second, or even third, re-homing.”

But, the gist of all of these profiles is the same.

Bring a child into your home on the promise of “forever,” tell them they’re no different from your own, biological children, and then retract that promise.

6.15.17 Return Adopted Child (#2)

Does that make you uncomfortable?

It should.

Because, deep down, we all know that unconditional love is supposed to mean U-N-C-O-N-D-I-T-I-O-N-A-L.  

I hope we’re still at a place, culturally, where we can agree there’s something very, very wrong when a parent steps out of their child’s life completely.

Even when the entire family is in emotional crisis, what possible good comes from permanently cutting ties with one of the members?

Who will love the unloveable, if not his/her family?


6.15.17 Return Adopted Child (#1)

The topic is on my mind because I’ve heard that Lysa Terkeurst, of Proverbs 31 Ministries, was “pursuing a divorce” from her husband of 25 years…

…and I wondered what the Church opinion would be if she were “pursuing a divorce” from a 25-year-old son or daughter of hers.

Could there be any reason to cut ties with a family member, in such an official and permanent way?

6.15.17 Return Adopted Child (#2)

Personally, I can’t think of one. (Other than the obvious: to make it legally possible to remarry.)  What other “benefit” could there be, to telling a loved one they’ve gone too far, and you’re officially, publicly finished with the relationship due to their failure to meet certain conditions?

What’s sad and frustrating is that Terkeurst herself was quoted a few years back being equally critical of divorce.

She wrote, “While temporary happiness may be found, divorce causes death — it harms not only the spouses involved but also their children and friends.”

That’s still true, even though Terkeurst believes she’s now being led by God himself to file for one.

Divorce is still an attempt to fix one wrong with another.

As Dr. David Crabtree (of Gutenberg College) says:

“Divorce is to adultery what price gouging is to armed robbery: essentially the same crime, varying only in degree of brutality. Adultery…is the breaking of one’s solemn promise; it is the treacherous betrayal of one’s closest friend. Divorce involves the same kind of betrayal; it may be legal, but it is still nasty.”

In light of this, I don’t see how filing for divorce can ever be a loving move.

My own promise doesn’t become null and void, just because my husband breaks his. I’m not suddenly at liberty to put myself above him, even if he does it first.

Of course, I do believe that separation is necessary sometimes, when physical abuse is a factor.  But getting a lawyer involved to “finalize” a divorce, doesn’t actually make that situation better, either.

The other spouse is still abusive.

You’ve still got kids.

You’re still required to love him, even if from a distance.

Unfortunately, going to the courthouse and filing certain paperwork has a way of making us think we’ve solved a problem we haven’t. 

Whether it’s the son/daughter who never bonded with the family properly, or the spouse who is continually unfaithful, responding by breaking your promise to them never makes sense.



6.15.17 Return Adopted Child (#4)



I hope we haven’t sunk so far into Self-Protection Land that we’re unmoved by the examples I’ve shared.

But, I’m afraid we’re being nudged, a little at a time, to accept the lie that selfishness can be healthy–for both parents and spouses.

I wonder, to an extent, why any of us bothers making promises to anyone, at any time?

Because what’s the point? When, we talk about commitment and in the same breath we warn each other, “But anything can happen, so never say never!”

Why take any sort of solemn vow–ever–when we really mean “forever…unless it’s much harder than I thought.”

As for me, I’d rather be a lonely, celibate old lady–who has lived by herself and faithfully observed her wedding vows for decades, with no idea where her husband is–than to say “I did everything I could” and live with the guilt of knowing it wasn’t true.

One thing I can do is refuse to be the one who files for divorce.

And, even if I am served papers and given no legal choice, I can continue to live in faithfulness to my promises, no matter what anyone else does.

If one of my children turned into a sociopathic monster, I could put up barriers to keep the others safe while still making sure that child knows “You will ALWAYS be mine, and I will ALWAYS love you–whether I like you or not.”

That’s what faithfulness is.

Taking the “save yourself” route is never required.

I realize that’s radical. I know this is a huge sore spot for a lot of people and has gotten me into trouble before.

But what would happen if more outspoken, female leaders in the Church were this way?

I’m not talking about Anna Duggar or any other quiet, less-confidant woman who has been cheated on publicly and stayed with her husband.   I’m talking about the loud, strong, stubborn sisters who aren’t afraid to be called “doormats” because they can explain for you exactly, unflinchingly why they believe the way they do about sacrifice.

What sort of changes might we see in marriages across the country, if our sons and daughters were THAT committed to being blameless and pure, word-keepers to the bitter end?

I like to believe that shuffling children from one temporary relationship to the next would be a thing of the past…

…and that giving up on spouses would be ancient history, too.


11 thoughts on “God Still Loves People Who Abandon Their Children

  1. Stephanje

    Your position on divorce is rather extreme, in fact, more extreme than God’s. I agree with you that God hates divorce. However, He gave an out to marriage in the case of infidelity (Matthew 5:31-32; 19:8-9). A case can also be made for divorce in situations of abandonment and abuse (1Corinthians 7:11-15, Matthee 19:8). Divorce is always a tragedy and is painful for the family. However, divorce due to Biblical reasons can be healing for a family. It is a parent’s primary job to protect the physical and emotional wellbeing of their children. A partner who has been unfaithful or abusive is an unhealthy and ungodly role model for children. Research suggests that children who witness domestic violence are at an increased risk of being aggressive as adults. In these cases, separation or divorce is an act of courage to protect the family.


    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      There’s no reason to bring up witnessing domestic violence. I’ve already covered that separating physically from the situation is not the same as cutting emotional and spiritual ties altogether.

      Perhaps Christians should start including these exceptions in their wedding vows.


      1. Stephanie

        How do you respond to the stance taken by Jesus that allows for divorce in the case of infidelity?


      2. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I think literally everyone on the planet can make a valid case that their spouse is unfaithful.
        I’d still rather do what’s best rather than what’s “allowed” or tolerated. I don’t believe there will be a single soul on judgement day who will be scolded for not being self-protective enough. No Martyrs will be told they should have placed more value on their own well-being than they did.

        But you wouldn’t know it, from the fancy way we’ve written entire books and church creeds based on what we should be “allowed” to do…


  2. Wally Fry

    Hi Amanda

    As you probably know(or maybe not), I was divorced after 25 years, before I became a believer. My thought on the subject have changed somewhat, as I now see it the way God does. I have also remarried. We in Arkansas are one of only 2 states to have Covenant Marriages by law. The conditions under which I could now divorce are quite restrictive, and a no fault divorce is not a legal option for us. Most important, however, is the covenant we made with God when we married.


    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      Hi, Wally. Yes–I did know you had a divorce in your past. And I want to be clear that I’m certainly not trying to berate someone for something that God has forgiven. 🙂

      On the other hand, if you started using phrases NOW like, “in the process of pursuing a divorce” you can bet I’d ask what you mean by that. Pursuing a divorce?? As in, asking the State to return back to “single” status? What good can that do?

      Most importantly, “would you ‘divorce’ your children, officially and legally, under the same circumstances?” In my experience, most people are far, far more willing to extend grace and unconditional love to their children than they are their spouse. :/

      My goal, mainly, is to reach people who are still considering marriage or in the very early years… I’m hoping to offer a new (and yes, RADICAL) perspective on commitment, before they’ve gone a made a less-than-ideal decision they’ll spend the rest of their lives retroactively justifying.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wally Fry

        I happen to agree with every word you have said. Even given my own circumstances, that would not stop me from asking another the same question. In fact, I HAVE asked people that. Just because I screwed it up doesn’t mean I can’t ask. In fact, I can tell them just how stupid it really is to toss away what God ordained. And, I didn’t feel berated LOL. You have to try much harder than that, I assure you.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Stop Feeling So Sorry for Women | Cultures at War

  4. Sad but True

    There should be follow-up stories to these people that seek attention by telling their “love can’t conquer all” story. It’s quite sad to see the aftermath when a person carries the mental and emotional pain from such a life altering decision. This so-called mother and wife would have no problem hurting her spouse or anyone else; having an affair with a married man, having sex with him in her own family SUV, trying to destroy someone else’s family, and blaming it all on being “mad at God”. I would assume that someone willing to give up a child would have very little regard for a marriage and even less respect for someone else’s.

    Liked by 1 person


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