Raising a child that is not your own biologically can be a challenging yet rewarding experience for any Christian. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to love and care for others, especially the most vulnerable like children. Though the Bible does not directly address the topic of raising another man’s child, there are many biblical principles and passages that can guide us in this unique situation. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore what the Bible says about adoption, caring for orphans and widows, fulfilling our Christian duty, and relying on God’s strength and wisdom.
- God cares deeply for orphans, widows, and vulnerable children and calls us as Christians to mirror His care and compassion.
- Though not required, adopting and raising a child not our own is a reflection of the gospel and God’s love for us.
- We have a Christian duty to provide for and raise godly children, biological or not.
- Relying on God’s strength and wisdom is essential in the challenges of raising another person’s child.
- Loving and caring for a non-biological child should be done selflessly without expecting anything in return.
- With God’s help, raising another man’s child can be an incredibly rewarding experience for everyone involved.
God’s Care for the Vulnerable
Throughout Scripture, we see God’s deep love and care for the most vulnerable members of society – orphans, widows, foreigners, and the poor. God calls His people to reflect His character by caring for those in need. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27) This verse shows that caring for orphans pleases God and is an essential part of living out our faith. As Christians, we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, extending compassion and aid to vulnerable children who need support.
In the Old Testament, God gave clear instructions to provide food and clothing for the orphaned and widowed. “When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” (Deuteronomy 24:19) This command to leave part of the harvest for the vulnerable shows God’s concern for their provision. God promises to bless those who bless the helpless.
The Bible often portrays God as a father to the fatherless. “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” (Psalm 68:5) This verse reminds us that even when earthly fathers abandon their children, these children have a perfect Heavenly Father who cares for them deeply. As followers of God, we should strive to emulate His compassionate, loving care for children in need.
Adoption in the Bible
Though the Bible does not explicitly mention the process of adopting a non-biological child, Scripture does include adoption imagery to describe believers’ relationship with God. The most prominent example is in the New Testament: “God sent his Son…to redeem those under law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
Through faith in Christ, we are adopted into God’s family and made co-heirs with Jesus. Adoption confers a new identity, inheritance, and relationship. This spiritual adoption parallels the process of adoption for orphans. Just as God redeems us into His family though we were once estranged, adoptive parents welcome an orphaned child into their family.
The parallels between earthly adoption and spiritual adoption show that raising a non-biological child can picture the gracious, redemptive act of God adopting us. Adoption is an act of love that reflects the gospel. This biblical understanding can bring encouragement for those raising another person’s child.
Caring for Orphans as a Christian Duty
Beyond adoption, the Bible mentions caring for orphans as a crucial duty and expression of faith. The book of James says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27) This shows that providing for orphaned children pleases God greatly.
The apostle John echoes this duty in his letter: “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18) Our compassion must move to action, especially to help vulnerable children.
Caring for orphaned or abandoned children is a concrete way to live out Jesus’ command to love our neighbor. When asked who is a neighbor, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan who sacrificially served a wounded man (Luke 10:25-37). Like the Good Samaritan, we are called to generously care for those in need around us. As Christians, we have a duty to provide for and support children without parents, whether through adoption, foster care, or other assistance. Such sacrificial service pleases God.
Raising Godly Children
Beyond simply providing food, shelter and care, Scripture emphasizes the duty of parents to raise children in the “training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Whether biological or adopted, Christian parents are tasked with teaching and modeling God’s ways to their children. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Childhood nurturing and instruction impacts the rest of a child’s life.
Though challenging at times, biblically raising children yields great reward. The Psalmist writes, “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands…His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.” (Psalms 112: 1, 2) When parents instill godly wisdom and reverence, children reap lifelong benefits.
For non-biological children, the home of a Christian parent can provide crucial spiritual guidance. In God’s eyes, adopted and foster children deserve the same Christ-centered upbringing as biological kids. The task of nurturing both physical and spiritual growth in children, whether adopted or not, is a high calling for all Christian parents.
Relying on God’s Strength and Wisdom
No one is naturally equipped for the task of raising children. This is especially true when caring for another person’s child, with unique challenges. Thankfully, Scripture promises that God will supply strength, wisdom and peace for this monumental responsibility if we seek Him.
Philippians 4:13 assures, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” When we feel inadequate, God’s empowering grace is enough. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” As parents, we can confidently turn to God for guidance in raising children.
Finally, God promises His peace when trials come. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Remaining rooted in Christ will allow us to weather the challenges of parenting in His strength. God is faithful to equip those He calls. Raising children is too heavy a burden for anyone to bear alone. Jesus beckons all parents, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
Selfless Love and Service
As Christians, caring for another man’s child should be done from a place of selflessness, seeking the child’s best interest. The Bible warns against showing favoritism or acting out of obligation rather than love. James 2:1 says, “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” We cannot treat adopted or foster children differently.
Likewise, we should not adopt or care for a child out of peer pressure, pity, or perceived Christian duty alone. “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3) Without sincere love, our efforts to raise a child will ring hollow.
As new challenges arise, the motivation must be love for the child, not personal validation. True care for orphans emulates God’s unconditional love for us. “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) When raising another’s child, we must cling to God’s love as the source of our imperfect but selfless love for them.
With God’s Help, an Incredible Experience
Stepping forward to raise a child not your own can be intimidating. But guided by God’s truth, it can also become one of the most meaningful experiences in a Christian’s life. Though not always easy, pouring love and nurture into young lives mirrors God’s love and care for us. The Bible reminds us that what we invest in children sows blessings for generations to come.
Proverbs 11:21 promises, “Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.” Sowing righteousness in a child’s life through biblical parenting leads to lasting fruit. With God’s strength, the challenges of raising another man’s child also reap eternal rewards. Though costly, the investment in a child’s life for Christ yields dividends we may not see this side of heaven.
The task of parenting never has been and never will be easy. But God is faithful to equip those He calls to love and nurture children in need of a godly home. Christ’s love compels us to open our hearts and homes to provide stability and guidance. Truly, caring for the most vulnerable among us expresses God’s own heart. May we rise to the call with His wisdom, strength and endless grace. What is challenging today will one day be great joy.