A photo of an open Bible, with specific verses highlighted, focusing on teachings about love, compassion, and the responsibility to care for and raise children with kindness and acceptance.

What Does The Bible Say About Raising Another Man’S Child?

Raising a child that is not your own biologically can bring up questions about what guidance the Bible provides. This article will examine principles and examples from Scripture that apply to parenting someone else’s child.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Bible does not explicitly prohibit raising another man’s child, but emphasizes caring for those in need. Key principles include acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly before God.

We will explore biblical principles about justice and compassion, examples of those who raised other children in Scripture, as well as practical guidance for step parents and adoptive families.

Biblical Principles About Justice and Compassion

Care for the Fatherless and Foreigners

The Bible has much to say about caring for those who are vulnerable and in need of justice, including fatherless children and foreigners. God calls His people to look after the fatherless, which refers to orphans or children without parental care.

For example, James 1:27 states that true religion is to care for widows and orphans. God promises to be a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5) and calls His people to emulate His care and compassion. Throughout the Old Testament, God reminds the Israelites to provide for foreigners and strangers living among them, treating them as their own (Leviticus 19:34).

This reflects God’s heart for all people regardless of ethnic background.

In the New Testament, James strongly warns against showing favoritism or discrimination based on economic status or ethnicity (James 2:1-9). As Christians, we are called to exercise justice and equality – standing up for the oppressed and marginalized.

God cares deeply for the vulnerable and challenges His followers to share His heart. Practically, this means we should support ministries caring for orphans and immigrants, foster/adopt children in need of families, and advocate politically against discrimination.

Do Not Deny Justice to Any People Group

The Bible clearly speaks against denying justice to any people group. According to Deuteronomy 1:17, judges must not show partiality in their rulings but hear small and great alike. Leviticus 19:15 says, “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.”

God is impartial, and His people must reflect His character in their administration of justice.

Furthermore, the Old Testament prophets frequently rebuked Israel for oppressing the poor and vulnerable. Amos cries out, “Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts” (Amos 5:15). God desires justice for all and strongly condemns those who tip the scales against the poor and powerless.

Micah 6:8 summarizes this well – God requires us “to act justly and to love mercy.” As Christians, we must model God’s heart for justice and avoid favoritism in how we love and serve others.

Practically, the church should denounce racism and mistreatment of any people group. Christians must lead the way in racial reconciliation and healing. We can support organizations that fight for justice and volunteer to aid oppressed groups in our communities.

Ultimately, we must see all humans as made in God’s image and reflect His equal treatment of all people.

Examples of Those Who Raised Other Children

Moses Was Raised by Pharaoh’s Daughter

The story of Moses being raised by Pharaoh’s daughter is a remarkable example of someone raising another person’s child recorded in the Bible. After Moses was born to Hebrew parents, his mother placed him in a basket on the Nile River to save him from being killed under Pharaoh’s order (Exodus 2:1-10).

Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the basket and adopted Moses as her own son. She raised him as a prince of Egypt for his childhood until he was 40 years old (Acts 7:23). Although Moses was born a Hebrew, he was privileged to grow up experiencing the pinnacle of Egyptian life and education because of God’s providence in placing him into Pharaoh’s family.

Later in life, Moses would use his position and training to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. This vivid account displays God’s sovereignty in placing Moses exactly where he needed to be to fulfill His greater plan.

Mordecai Raised His Cousin Esther

Another clear case of raising another person’s child is Mordecai’s adoption of Esther. After Esther’s parents died, her older cousin Mordecai took her in and treated her as his own daughter (Esther 2:7). He raised her within the Jewish community in Susa.

When Esther was taken to the palace of King Xerxes to be a candidate for queen, Mordecai continued to watch over her and give her guidance. He told her to conceal her Jewish identity for her safety (Esther 2:10).

Mordecai’s faithful parenting and advice later enabled Esther to bravely intercede before the king to stop a planned massacre of the Jews. If Mordecai had not stepped in to raise his orphaned cousin, Esther would likely not have become queen and been positioned to save her people.

Mordecai’s compassion reflects the kindness of God, who “sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6).

Practical Guidance for Stepparents and Adoptive Families

Set Healthy Boundaries

When taking on the role of stepparent, it’s crucial to set healthy boundaries with your new spouse and their children from the start (Proverbs 4:23). Discuss expectations for discipline, finances, roles in the home, and time spent together as a couple versus a family.

Seek premarital counseling to work through any potential conflicts. Once married, check in regularly to address issues before they become problematic. Respect the biological parent’s role, but also recognize your value in the family.

Seek Counseling or Mentorship

Blended families face unique challenges. Consider joining a support group or mentoring program to connect with others navigating similar dynamics (Proverbs 11:14). Biblical counselors can also provide guidance on building healthy relationships amid the complex emotions involved.

If significant tension arises, seek professional counseling to work through unresolved feelings constructively (Matthew 18:15-17). Leaning on the wisdom of Godly mentors helps unite families in His love.

Rely on God’s Strength

Raising another person’s child, especially if they experienced trauma or loss, can feel overwhelming at times. Remember that God promises to provide the strength, patience, and wisdom needed (Isaiah 41:10).

Pray together as a family, read encouraging scriptures, and share your feelings openly with God. He cares deeply and will help you persevere (1 Peter 5:7). Relying on Him lightens the load. With God at the center, blended families can become a beautiful picture of redemption.


While the Bible does not explicitly address the modern concept of raising a stepchild or adopted child, it provides principles of justice, compassion and care that apply to parenting children not biologically your own.

Most importantly, all Christians are called to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly before God as we care for those He puts in our lives.

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