Care for the Family-less

One of the most immediate and pressing concerns of Roe v. Wade’s reversal is the surplus of families considering alternatives to abortion and children in need of foster care and adoption. This calls for action on behalf of the church – first to the care of struggling expectant mothers and families and, secondly, to enter the realm of foster care and adoption. James 1:27 says pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. It is the church’s noble responsibility to provide care for those who are family-despaired and family-less. Our responsibility must not be overlooked at a time like this.

Adoption is first and foremost a theological issue. God made us for family. God has created each of us to be in relation with Him as our Heavenly Father, a sign of this is His good design of the family unit. Yet we reject God and family. Unfaithfulness puts us out of God’s eternal family while destroying our family units. But God reinstates us through Christ. By His Son’s life, death, and resurrection those who trust on the Father are adopted (Galatians 4:1-7) into His eternal family. Our new, future heavenly family is represented now in the local church body. Faithfulness to God is our acceptance of Christ’s new birth into God’s family, expressed in baptism, and proven in our church and families.

Another thing we must consider is what the family is for. There are a lot of things that family does, is, can be, and wants to be, but God’s family intentions are pretty simple: The family exists for the knowledge of God that results in faith. This pattern is marked throughout the Bible. Joshua, in Joshua 4:22-24, reminds Israelite families that God’s faithfulness and work has been put before them “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD’s hand is mighty, and so that you may always fear the LORD your God.” God sovereignly brings husband and wife together so that they may know and fear the Lord. God sovereignly entrusts children to a father and mother so they and their children may know and fear the Lord. God sovereignly displays to all what godly knowledge and faith looks like through a faithful family. And the Lord sovereignly commands the church family to take care of the orphan so that the church and the children may know and fear the Lord.

Christians honor the care of the family-less because that is what Christ did for us on the cross – He made His enemies His children. He brought those outside of Himself to Himself at great cost. He did what was needed in order to provide to the destitute with what they most needed: glorious, unrequited love. Unless we see what God has eternally done for us through Christ, we will not be family to those who need it.

What can you do? The short of the long of it is put yourself in spots where you can care for desperate mothers, families, and children. This is a costly, time-consuming, heartbreaking, and often-time intimidating process. But given what we know about God, His good design, and His perfect instructions it is something worth investing in.

Partner with despairing mothers and families – those who don’t believe the unity of the family is worth it and are considering either abortion, foster care, or adoption for their children. The church’s goal ought to be encouraging these families toward unity by providing resources that instill hope and wisdom. Consider if foster care and adoption are ways you can serve the family-less. This requires prayer and planning on your behalf, and is best aided by a church promoting this level of care among its members. Give of your resources to the advancement of Christian counseling, family care, adoption, and foster care. A great place to start is a trust crisis pregnancy center. Talk about the situation with those around you. Seek a better understanding of the situation, look for needs to be met, match up people in need with people who are able and willing to help. Most importantly, pray for these families. Pray for the mothers and fathers making hard choices. Pray for the children in foster care or up for adoption. Pray for the government to better aid families and orphans. Pray that the body of Christ may help those in need so they may know and trust the Lord.

As I said above, this is a costly, time-consuming, heartbreaking, and intimidating ministry which means that likely our first (and strongest) deterrent is fear. Fear of what this level of care would do to your family, relationships, reputations, future plans, sanity, and more. Fear toward caring for the orphan is a lack of fear toward the Lord (Malachi 3:5). I encourage you to take time to pray through your heart’s reaction to the Lord’s command to invest in the families around you and to care for the orphan. In our Lord’s good sovereignty we have been given a chance to serve in these areas more than ever for His glory and the good of those in need.

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