“The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in a increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts—a child—as a competitor, an intrusion and an inconvenience..”

Mother Teresa

Father of orphans and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.

Psalm 68:5 NRSV


The term “fatherless” comes from the Hebrew term “yathom” or יָתוֹם a masculine noun with a short definition of “orphan.” So, even if the child still has his mother, the Hebrew term used to describe his social status is still that of an orphan. According to Lamentations 5:3, one becomes an orphan solely through the loss of a father. Without a father, a child is already an orphan, and is referred to as a bereaved person, meaning there is grieving for the tangible and intangible losses. The Strong’s Concordance gives this definition for the word: “From an unused root meaning to be lonely; a bereaved person—fatherless (child), orphan.” There are numerous biblical references to the “fatherless”, especially in the Old Testament.

The widow and the orphan are both portrayed as weak and vulnerable in the Jewish society. God uses the term “fatherless” and logic in numerous accounts in the Bible to teach us about salvation and how we are also like the fatherless, but we experienced a change of status when were adopted in the Kingdom of God by faith. One of the verses is from Exodus 22:21, which tells us, “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.” Likewise, Deuteronomy 10:19, 15:15, 16:12, 24:18, 22 are clear pictures of salvific actions that laid the ground work for actions that exist because of Jesus Christ’s perfect work on the cross.

The desolation of the fatherless is perceived as unnatural and not a part of God’s creational intent.

Even if the term “fatherless” is scarce in the New Testament, the important observations can be made about the incarnate Christ — God’s love reach for us, in flesh. The desolation of the fatherless is perceived as unnatural and not a part of God’s creational intent. In Genesis 1:18, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Through the example of Jesus, God expects all Christian relationships to overcome any loneliness and to serve those who are disenfranchised.

Since God relates to us as our Heavenly Father, the destruction of a normal fathering structure distorts a healthy view of authority, on which to build spiritual truth. Without any loving relationship foundation, it is very difficult to present the love of God to a hurting individual. The widow, the fatherless, and the displaced stranger attracts the attention of Jesus because of God’s relational nature.

The destruction of the templates God placed for us to understand Him thus destroys our view of God’s personhood.


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