Many men have displaced anger issues. They love watching mixed martial arts on TV, or playing the latest and greatest brutal video games that allow them the opportunity to conquer the world. Yet in spite of all that, their souls are left empty, having successfully shadow-boxed their vast imaginary opponents.
This week both of our foster kids have permanency hearings. For foster kids, these are big events, as important decisions are made that will alter the trajectory of their lives. As I prepared what I was going to talk about at these hearings, it dawned on me what I was doing. I was preparing for battle.
Biological parents are not the enemy for these kids; the Deceiver is (Ephesians 6:12). He wants to ruin people. Scripture tells us He prowls like a roaring lion, looking to devour people (I Peter 5:8). The little ones, and their parents, are caught in the cross-hairs.
So as a soldier preparing for battle, Steph and I prepared for these hearings. We prayed, gathered our thoughts, and went to represent our little kids. As we did, there was something in me that knew this was partly what I was created for.
Listen to what Scripture says:
"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3-4).
"Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at the head of every street” (Lamentations 2:19).
"Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).
As followers of Jesus, God has provided us with a battle to fight. We are called to defend, to rescue, and to encourage the oppressed. It is a great opportunity that will change the future for so many little kids.
This Is Nothing New
Months ago I read about different instances in the past when people stepped up to care for large groups of orphans. Immediately following WWII and the Vietnam War, thousands of orphans were received into American homes.
The early church was known for such acts of kindness and service. Babies who were deformed or simply of the wrong sex were thrown out into local trash pits. Christians would seek these kids out, bring them home, and raise them as their own.
Today there are roughly 5 million reports of child abuse yearly. From there, over 1 million cases end up requiring quick action. With so much need, what will the Church do today?
Up until just a few years ago, my focus was on the busyness of life, and just trying to maintain and protect the family I already had. I’m sure we would all admit our immediate families require more of us than we know how to give, so how could we possibly add more?
God finally brought me to a place where I considered the needs of those outside my family. Once I did, I began to see it as an opportunity for my family to become a strong team – on mission together.
Four year olds are capable of loving a new child into your family. I’ve seen this happen. With every little one that arrives at our home, we are given the opportunity to explain and show our kids a glimpse of the love the Father has for everyone – especially the fatherless.
Men, there is a battle to fight. I pray that you would engage in it.
What stops people from doing more to care for the fatherless? What do you think?