In God’s household there is never a sign that says, “Sorry, no more space here.” There is always a way to bring in, accept, embrace and extend generous love one more time, in one more direction.
When Prati and I had our ﬁrst child, we thought we could never love another in the same way. Yet, when our second was born, we discovered that our hearts had been created with more capacity to love than we realized—rather than being “divided,” the love in our hearts multiplied!
Of course, at the time, we thought, “We can’t possibly love other children as much as we love our biological children . . .”
But we were wrong again.
God started to bring one more in, and then another and another. As our household grew, we discovered amazing grace from God that allowed our hearts to keep stretching and expanding, never reaching an endpoint. Of course, each person we embraced as family required a unique kind of love, but God gave us grace to meet that need. I believe He gives such grace to anyone who chooses to love one more.
As of today, the love one more lifestyle has brought 350—400 people into our household, which also serves as a mission station in southern India. In addition to our two biological children, about 100 children of various ages now look to Prati and me as their adoptive parents, calling us Mom and Dad and treating our home as their own.
The strength and resources to do this come from God, not from us. There is no limit to God’s household, and there need be no limit on ours. God will provide for us when we seek His kingdom priorities ﬁrst (Matthew 6:33).
I sometimes wonder what would have happened if, in a moment of human perspective, I had declared, “Two children are enough. I can’t possibly love or afford any others!” What if I had closed the doors of my household, content to focus attention on the children I already had? My wife and I would never have experienced God’s grace to grow in love. We would never have experienced the joy and blessing that come with an ever-expanding household.
As long as there is one more to love, our households (yours and mine) can keep making room for one more. God will pour His unique grace into our hearts for the unique circumstances we will inevitably encounter. We don’t have to muster the strength, money, or emotions on our own. God will provide!
I was once visiting a rural area of India, encouraging pastors in the region. A villager approached me with his infant daughter, and, as would be customary in the culture, I assumed he wanted me to pray over her. I took her in my arms and began to pray. When I opened my eyes, the man was walking away!
He wasn’t looking for prayer; he was literally giving away a daughter he could not care for, to me!
What went through my mind in that moment? Something like, “Wait, that time in my life has passed. I’m done parenting!” And then a quietly desperate, “Lord, what should I do?”
My deﬁnition of family was about to expand again, this time to the next generation. As it worked out, one of my grown children decided to adopt this beautiful girl . . . making me a proud and excited grandfather! How amazing are the ways of God, when we adopt His ideas for life and family rather than trust in our own limited vision.
The doors to God’s heart, and to His household, are always open. Perhaps ours should be as well.
Written by Sam Stephens, President of India Gospel League & Love One More