“Wow, are ALL those kids yours?”
“You know how that happens, right?”
“Absolutely. Do you come from a big family?”
Often you can redirect the conversation toward the asker. Talk about their brothers and sisters, their kids, or some of the challenges of child rearing. Bringing the conversation around like this treats them like a person, and not just like a troll. Some of these people do have malicious intentions, many of them are just curious, and all of them are created in the image of God. Show them the curtesy and interest that you wish they would have shown you.
“Are they really your kids?”
“They are really my kids: we adopted them and they became a part of our family. This is Kaden, Makyra, Elias and Zoey. They have come all the way from Ethiopia! Oh, and by the way, families like ours consider our kids to be really our own, not someone else’s. So, when you talk to adoptive parents you might want to avoid asking if they are “really” our kids.”
“Are there not enough needy kids in America, that you had to steal some from another country?” (Real question, BTW)
“We are really fortunate to attend a church where people are adopting from our State, our country, AND overseas. We did not feel like we had to choose, because together we are trying to reach all needy children. Did you know that when God decided to adopt people into his family he chose people from every tribe, tongue, and nation?”
- These askers are made in the image of God. They may have just offended you, and not treated you like you would have wanted to be treated, but they were made by God and for his worship. We are called to treat humans with a respect they deserve not because they are kind, but because their Creator is.
- We are called to always build others up with our words. I have never walked away feeling closer to Jesus when someone intentionally made me feel stupid. I have walked away more like Jesus when someone gently confronted my stupidity. Galatians 6 calls those who are spiritual to restore someone caught in a transgression with gentleness. If we are called to be gentle with those that have actually sinned against us, how much more should we be gentle with those that are accidentally stupid.
- You say stupid stuff too. James tells us, “if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.” Truth is, we all say stupid things, sometimes intentionally. And sometimes we say something that seems innocent enough without knowing the history and we hurt others. I know I have. And the biggest blessing for me was not sarcastic rebuke, but gentle grace.