Caring for the "Fatherless"
“Religion that God Our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans (KJV refers to these as the “fatherless”) and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
One of the things that keeps us going at Redeeming Life Maternity Home is knowing that we play a small part in looking after the “fatherless”. On the surface, you might see that as providing for the needs of the baby soon to be born to the single mom. While that is true, it goes much deeper than that. Traditionally, the ladies coming to the maternity home are on their own, with no family to support them. Most were raised in single parent households or with fathers that were in and out of the picture. They never had the opportunity to experience the love, security, and protection we expect that a man of faith provides for his children. These women are themselves “fatherless.”
As they go through their studies in the maternity home program, they are confronted by the notion that God is their Heavenly Father. They learn that He is the Father that promises to never leave them nor forsake them. No matter what their life has been like before, He is ready and willing to accept them with open arms. He’s a Father that loves them so much that He sent His One and Only Son to die on the cross so that if they only believe, they can live with Him forever.
Many struggle to believe. They see God the Father through the lens of a child that has experienced brokenness, abandonment, and rejection.
When they look at God the Father, their hearts cry, “How could He love me, much less want me, after everything that I did?”
The answer to this question is found in the story of the prodigal son from Luke 15:11-32. It is the story of a man who took his inheritance from his father, went into a faraway land, and squandered it all on riotous living. When his money ran out, his so called friends ran out too. He found himself in a desperate place, just like the women who come to Redeeming Life.
Unable to care for himself, he took a job feeding the pigs for a local farmer. It was there, in the pigsty, at the lowest point in his life, that he recalled the days at his boyhood home. He remembered how his father always cared for his family, and also for all those who were employed as servants for him. His father made sure that everyone had plenty of food, warm clothing, and a safe, dry place to rest their heads at the end of the day. In contrast, here he stood without a penny to his name, coveting the slop that he was feeding the pigs.
As he stood in the pigsty surveying his situation, he knew that he had to make a change. If he stayed on his current path, he would likely die from starvation. But if he humbled himself, and returned to his father, perhaps he could get hired on as a servant and live.
Most of the ladies that come to the maternity home can relate to the son and his riotous lifestyle. Before entering the maternity home, many are un desperate situations similar to the prodigal son’s predicament. Many are without food, shelter, and the basic necessities of life. Then to complicate matters even more, they find themselves in an unexpected pregnancy. Most come with no hope that God who they have only heard mention of would do anything to help them out of their current situation.
Again, if you listened, you could hear their heart cry, “How could He love me, much less want me, after everything that I did?”
Like the son, the first step the women normally take is to put their hope in the possibility that God the Father would accept them as a servant. Then in exchange for them cleaning up their lives and doing the best that they can, God the Father would reward them by meeting the basic needs of both themselves and their new babies.
But much to their surprise, just like in the story of the prodigal son, God the Father stands waiting for His children to turn to Him. As they take that first step toward Him, He sees them from afar off and begins running toward them. As He approaches, it is not a face filled with righteous indignation ready to pass judgment on them for all their misdeeds. Instead they find Him running toward them with the open arms of a Father ready to embrace His long lost child. Just as the father in the story grabs and hugs the son, God the Father accepts the “fatherless” single mom and her unborn baby as His own. He promises to never leave her or forsake her, to protect, and provide for her and her baby as she joins Him as part of the family.
James 1:27 says that pure religion includes caring for the “fatherless.” At Redeeming Life, we fulfill this mandate by meeting the physical needs of the single moms and their babies and most importantly by introducing them to a relationship with their Heavenly Father. Once they know Him, they will never be “fatherless” again.
Redeeming Life is a Christ-centered maternity home that provides a stable environment for single women with unplanned pregnancies. Our structured program provides mentoring, counseling and life skills education to help them become independent and provide for their children as single mothers.