The Burden of the Fatherless

The Burden of the Fatherless


James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

God refers to Himself as our Father repeatedly throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament.  He says He has adopted us

Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The word “adoption” means to appoint as a son.  By our own nature, we have no claim of paternity, only by adoption are we His.  This act by God is not one of obligation, but pure loving kindness, and pure sovereign love.  We have now come under His divine watch care and protection, and also are His heirs and beneficiaries of His estate.

Such great importance is placed on the role of parents in Scripture.  What about those who have none?

Genesis 27:34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

Genesis 27:36 …Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?

Even Esau, a wicked man, reverenced his father and from the emotion expressed above, demonstrates a supremely high value on the blessing, and thus the office of his father.


God has always been an advocate for the fatherless.

Deuteronomy 10:18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

Psalm 10:14 …thou art the helper of the fatherless.

Psalm 146:9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

Jeremiah 49:11 … thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.

God has strongly emphasized the need for His own people to take up the cause of the orphans.  Not just so their needs may be met and they should be relieved, but that it should be done by those with the purest and most charitable motives-His own people.

Psalm 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Deuteronomy 14:28 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: (29) And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.

Jeremiah 5:28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. (29) Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

The wicked vex the fatherless and widows, but the righteous bless them.  It was always God’s people who have been exhorted to care for the fatherless. And it has always been God’s people who have responded to the call and taken up their cause. Not so much today as in the past. Less and less, God’s people are looking elsewhere to evangelize and minister, and more and more, the world is taking up the cause of the fatherless.

Especially those who cannot have children of their own-the homosexual community.

As of 2012, there were 500,000 kids in foster care in the US. 80,000 in California alone.  There were 135,000 orphans in the US waiting to be adopted. 16,000 kids had been adopted by homosexual parents in California.  As a demographic, the homosexual community is doing a better job of fulfilling the Biblical mandate of taking care of the fatherless than the church is.

The church as a whole is pro-life, but adoption-indifferent; a paradox to be sure.  If one of us were to personally talk to a pregnant woman considering an abortion and successfully talk her out of the abortion by persuading her into putting the child up for adoption, we would consider that a great victory, right?

But, statistically speaking, there is a strong possibility that this child will then be placed with parents who will not raise that child according to Biblical principles.  There is an even better possibility that this child will end up in a same sex home than in a true Christian home.

>There was a lesbian couple in the bay area just a few years ago with an 11 year old boy to whom they are giving hormone (testosterone) blockers to postpone him from hitting puberty (developing facial hair, shoulders broadening, etc.) until he could decide whether he wants to be male or female<.

Ask yourself this question:  Which child is worse off; the child aborted in the womb who then goes to the arms of Jesus, or the child who is delivered, put up for adoption, is adopted into a non-believing home and trained up in the ways contrary to Scripture and in the end dies and goes to hell?

Take a few moments and seriously ponder that question.  Search your spirit.  Truly, it is an agonizing question.

There is a third option however; adoption by the people of God.

This is the kind of thing James speaks of in James 2:15-16;

James 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (16) And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?


“I don’t think I could adopt”.  If I can do it, just about anybody can.  “I don’t know if I could love anyone else’s child like my own”. I barely liked my own kids before I started doing this (not their fault ;^), but God honored the effort and wrought a miracle in this man. And He has blessed me beyond measure.

Isaiah 54:2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; (3) For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

Pull up your tent stakes and make more room in your life.  Then you shall break forth on the right hand and the left.  Make more room in your life for God and godly things; and for the things He loves.

1 Chronicles 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

God blessed Solomon’s request (2 Chronicles 1:10) for wisdom so abundantly since it would benefit God’s own people and it lined up with God’s will and was what God wanted to do anyway. There is a special regard for the prayer that it prayed in accordance to God’s own desires.

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

God blesses the prayers like that of Jabez when they line up with the His will, not when they are simply for our own benefit. When God enlarges our borders, He is increasing our sphere of influence, or those who we can influence for His glory.

God has enlarged the borders in my own family; we have influenced many people through our ministry.  Many people have been blessed and affected by seeing what we do.  And that is without speaking of the children themselves.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Many people were deeply affected by Samuel and how we could minister to a child with his problems, and commit ourselves to doing it long-term. But as a result, God blessed our house abundantly.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.


James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

“Fatherless” and “comfortless” in the above two verses are actually the same Greek word. The Bible equates the fatherless with the comfortless; one bereft of comfort.

Mark 10:13  And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. (14) But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (15) Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. (16) And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

This topic-as it relates to and revolves around children-is very near to the Lord’s heart.  He takes up the cause of the children, He desires to touch them and bless them and He will bless those that do it.

Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (5) And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. (6) But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.


Near the end of the year in 2010, God called me to a special time of focused, dedicated prayer.  It was one of those times when you know God is calling out to you, leading you to a higher place than where you’ve been dwelling.  A time when God is calling so clearly to you and your heart begins to burn within you.

There were three things that I prayed earnestly and fervently for several months, one of which was “God, I want to love what you love, I want my heart to break over what breaks your heart”.  It was a prayer written in Heaven; not of my own volition.  I prayed this over and over, day after day, week after week, for many months.  And without even realizing it, at the same time, I began falling in love with a very handicapped little boy who came to us in early October, just shortly before this burden to pray overcame me.  Not just a little in love mind you; I’m talking head-over-heels crazy in love.  When I began to embrace with my whole heart this little boy and look at him as a precious child that God so dearly loved and wanted to love with my hands and my heart, the burden to pray as I had been began to lift.  The timing was certainly no coincidence.

Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for me, is it too much for Him to ask me to sacrifice myself? Either I belong to me, or I belong to Him.  And regardless of what I say, it is what I do that shows who my master is.  If I live my life according to my own will, I am not His. I am mine.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

If there are some places I won’t let Him go, won’t let Him be Lord of, then I’m not really His, I am my own.

If there are simply some places I will not even go, some things I will not let Him talk to me about, I won’t involve Him or give Him the chance to deal with me about, then I’m not His, I am my own.

Either God has the prerogative to tell me what He wants me to do, or He’s not my God, I am!   And if this is the case, then my life statement is “The price that I was bought with was high, but not high enough to procure my absolute loyalty”.

Not everybody can do foster care or adopt, but this situation is reaching crisis point in our time and we should at least be willing to sincerely pray and ask the Lord if there is something we can do for the fatherless of our time.  Is there something we, the people of the Most High can do to comfort the comfortless?

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