Not having parents
What is it?
As kids, this is a hard thing to talk about, because it's scary. Our parents take care of us and are so special to us. Sometimes we have to talk about hard things though because they happen around us and it's important for us to understand so that if we have a classmate or friend that goes through something hard, we can pray for them and be their friend. So I want us to talk about something a little bit uncomfortable and that’s when kids don’t have parents. There are two groups that fall under this category.
Orphans are kids whose parents died and they are left by themselves. When this happens sometimes they are raised by their grandparents, aunts, uncles or sometimes they are given a home with other kids who don’t have parents. Sometimes these kids grow up in those homes and sometimes moms and dads will ask them to join their families and adopt them.
Kids whose parents can’t take care of them for a little while. This is a hard concept, but sometimes things happen that make it unsafe for a child to live with their parents and a child needs a place to stay until their home can be safe again. Whenever something like this happens we have people called foster families who are safe families that take care of the kids until the parents can.
What does that mean?
Today there are 140,000,000 orphans worldwide (UNICEF). In the US on any given day there are about 428,000 children staying with foster parents. In 2015, over 670,000 kids spent time with a foster family. This means that at some point you will probably know someone who is in foster care or adopted.
What does the Bible say about it?
“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows, this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” Psalms 68:5
“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17
“He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 22:16
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God is this, caring for orphans and widows in their distress.” James 1:27
The Bible talks about orphans quite a bit and God makes it very clear that He values orphans and He takes care of them. It is important to God that children are loved and cared for.
How to pray?
Pray for kids who aren’t with their parents today. Ask God to take care of them.
While we are talking about kids without families, there are also a lot of adults who don’t have family. Either their family is far away or they grew up without one. Pray together as a family and see if there is someone you could invite over to your house to eat a meal and be family to. There is something powerful that happens when we open up our families to be family to others.