by Mark Entzminger/ March 6, 2015
You can’t read the Bible without realizing that caring for orphans is something that is important to the heart of God. In fact, the word orphan is used over thirty times throughout the Scriptures. Throughout the Bible, God seems to place special emphasis on the care of orphans, to giving a home to the homeless and a family to the fatherless.
We’re all familiar with the command in James 1:27 to care for orphans. Today, I wanted to share six other Bible passages you can use when discussing adoption. These verses can help us frame our ideas and discussions about adoption as kids’ ministry leaders.
Six Bible Passages about Adoption
“Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.” Psalm 10:17–18 (NLT)
God loves every human being He created. Adoption and orphan care is His way of bringing justice and providing care for those children who have lost parents so they are no longer properly cared for.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing.” Psalm 68:5–6 (NIV)
God’s design for our lives is that we would be surrounded by people who love and care for us. There is no better picture of that than adoption or foster care.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; defend the rights of all those who have nothing. Speak up and judge fairly, and defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverb 31:8–9 (NCV)
It is important that we shine a light on the growing need to care for the orphans in our world. We must stand in the gap and use our influence to be a voice for the millions of kids who don’t have a voice.
“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.” Matthew 18:5 (NLT)
Throughout the Gospels, it’s clear that Jesus had a heart for children. He doesn’t just recommend we love and care for them, He commands it.
“Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs.” Romans 8:15–17 (NLT)
In a spiritual sense, every person who has put his or her faith in Jesus is adopted too. There is not a more beautiful picture of how God rescued us than adoption.
Orphan Care: A Reminder and a Challenge
God’s action towards us demonstrates His values. He adopted us, though we did nothing to deserve it. We are fully His children, so much so He desires us to refer to him as Abba, Father.
My hope for shining a light on the topic of adoption and orphan care isn’t to shame or guilt anyone into it. However, caring for the fatherless is close to God’s heart. It’s a vital reality of the gospel of the Kingdom.
As Christians, we have a clear command to care for orphans, and there are many ways to get involved—praying, giving, mobilizing your church, or adopting.
What are some ways you have advocated and encouraged other families in your church about orphan care? What are some ways that we as church leaders can continue to shine a light on the topic?