With Father’s Day approaching we should remember those who are fatherless too. The term fatherless appears 42 times in the ESV and is a theme that runs deep throughout the Bible. God cares for the fatherless and asks his people to care for them and look after them. Hosea 14:3 says, “In you the orphan finds mercy.” Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s case.” And James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
These are not mere commands to keep God’s people busy with acts of humanitarianism. There is clear research that children who grow up without a stable father have a far more difficult path in life than those who do. Those who grow up without a father are more likely to experience poverty, poor academic performance, mental health disorders, sexual promiscuity, exploitation and abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, early death, and divorce, to name a few. These are a very heavy price to pay for those who are abandoned by or who have lost their fathers to death.
This is why God puts such a strong emphasis on his people stepping in to care for and nurture those who are fatherless. The church bears a heavy responsibility to show compassion and care for the fatherless. We must do better at being intentional about reaching into the lives of them.