A black and white photo captures a group of orphans holding hands, their expressions filled with hope, symbolizing the importance of these children to God's compassionate heart.

Why Are Orphans So Important To God?

Orphans hold a special place in God’s heart. If you’ve ever wondered why, this article will provide insight into God’s great compassion and concern for the fatherless.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: God commands his followers to care for orphans and promises to bless those who do because orphans can’t provide or care for themselves, so God calls his people to reflect his fatherly compassion.

In this article, we’ll explore Bible verses about God’s love and concern for orphans, reasons why he expects his followers to care for them, the blessings he promises to those who care for orphans, and how believers today can answer God’s call to help orphans in practical ways.

What the Bible Says About God’s Care for Orphans

Old Testament Command to Care for Widows and Orphans

In the Old Testament, God specifically commands His people to care for orphans and widows. For example, in Exodus 22:22-24, God says that if anyone wrongs a widow or orphan, He himself will kill them with the sword and make their wives widows and children orphans.

God makes it clear that He has a special concern for taking care of those who are vulnerable like orphans.

The book of Deuteronomy also has strict commands to leave food for the poor and the foreigner, including the orphan (Deut 14:28-29). God reminds the Israelites that since they were once slaves in Egypt, they are to love the orphaned foreigner living among them (Deut 10:18-19).

Over and over, God makes commands about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping the hurting – all of which would include caring for orphans.

God also gave guidelines for celebrations like the Feast of Weeks, saying “the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow” should come celebrate and be filled (Deut 16:11). He wanted to include those who could normally be overlooked.

God’s concern and care for the orphan is clearly seen in the Old Testament laws and commandments.

God Promises to Care Personally for the Fatherless

Not only did God command His people to care for orphans, but He also promised to personally defend and care for orphans Himself. For example, we read in Exodus 22:21-24 that if anyone wrongs an orphan, God Himself will kill them.

He takes it very seriously when people abuse, oppress or neglect orphans.

We also see God’s heart for orphans in Deuteronomy 10:17-18, which says God “defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners.” God personally cares for and provides for orphans.

The book of Psalms echoes this promise, with verses like Psalm 10:14 which says God is the helper of the orphan. Psalm 68:5 describes God as “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” God promises to be like a Father to those who don’t have parents.

God pledges to protect and care for those who are vulnerable, like the orphan. He sees their need and acts as their defender and provider. What an amazing promise for those who feel alone and abandoned.

True Religion Cares for Widows and Orphans

Not only does God command His people to care for widows and orphans, and promise to care for them Himself, but the Bible also defines true religion as looking after them.

James 1:27 states: “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.” God is pleased when we step up to help the vulnerable.

Earlier, Isaiah 1:17 said: “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows.” God genuinely cares about justice for those who are marginalized, like the orphan. When we care for them, it demonstrates our love for God.

The apostle Paul even used caring for widows as a qualification for church leadership. He wrote that an overseer “must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.

Since he is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:6-9).

The Bible makes it clear from Old to New Testament that caring for orphans is very important to God. He commands us to do it, He promises to do it Himself, and He calls it an essential part of true religion.

As Christians, we glorify God when we generously care for, pray for and minister to orphans in distress. There are still millions of orphaned children worldwide who need help.

Reasons God Cares So Much for Orphans

Orphans Are Uniquely Vulnerable and In Need

Orphans lack the protection and provision of a father and mother. Without parents to love, nurture, and guide them, orphans are often left vulnerable to abuse, neglect, poverty, and other dangers (1). An estimated 140 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents, leaving them especially susceptible to exploitation, human trafficking, and other injustices (2).

God cares deeply about defending and providing for the vulnerable. As Scripture says, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).

Loving Orphans Reflects God’s Fatherly Compassion

Throughout the Bible, God reveals Himself as a loving Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5-6). His deep compassion for orphans reflects His very nature and character as a gracious, merciful Father. When Christians love and care for orphans, they display God’s heart to the world.

As John Piper says, “When we care for orphans and widows, we show the world a picture of God” (3). Adopting orphaned children offers a powerful testimony of the adopting love of God. When Christians adopt, they declare, “This is how our Heavenly Father has loved us!”

God Expects His Followers to Emulate His Character

Lastly, God clearly commands His people to care for the vulnerable. Over 40 verses in the Bible mention God’s concern for orphans and His call to provide for fatherless children (4). For example, James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”

Loving and defending orphans is an integral way that Christians imitate God’s character of justice and mercy. Though God cares for the orphan Himself, He also works through His people. Adopting, fostering, financially supporting ministries, volunteering, and praying for orphans are some practical ways Christians can emulate God’s compassion for the vulnerable today.

God’s Promises to Those Who Care for Orphans

Promises of Rescue

God promises to come to the rescue of those who care for orphans in their time of need (Psalm 10:17-18). Just as orphans often feel alone and abandoned, God assures caregivers that when trials arise, He will be there to deliver them.

What an amazing promise that the Lord hears their cries and draws near to the brokenhearted who serve the fatherless.

Promises of Generous Provision

For those who give sacrificially to provide for orphans, God pledges generous blessing in return (Deuteronomy 15:10, Proverbs 19:17). Jesus said that when we care for the least of these, it’s like we’re caring for Him (Matthew 25:40).

Therefore, we can trust that as we open our hearts and homes to children in need, God will supply all that we need in abundance.

Studies show that 95% of foster parents say the blessings far outweigh the sacrifices. Truly, those who sow generously into orphan care will reap generously in joy.

Promises of Eternal Blessing

Finally, to those who persevere in caring for orphans, God vows eternal rewards (James 1:27, Hebrews 6:10). One day we’ll stand before God, and He will commend those who gave time, resources and love to vulnerable children.

Imagine hearing “Well done, good and faithful one…Come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23). What an astonishing promise for all eternity!

So in caring for orphans, we’re caring for treasured children of God. He sees each act of love, and promises to watch over caregivers, meet every need, and bless them now and forevermore.

Practical Ways Believers Can Care for Orphans Today

Seek Out Local Foster and Adoption Programs

One impactful way to care for orphans is to become a foster or adoptive parent. There are over 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, with over 100,000 waiting to be adopted (AdoptUSKids). Connecting with local foster care agencies is the first step.

Attend an orientation meeting to learn about the process and requirements. Opening your home to a child in need is such a meaningful way to give them support and family.

If you feel called to adoption, again, contact local programs. There are costs involved in adoption but grants and tax credits can provide assistance. What an incredible blessing to welcome a child into your family forever.

James 1:27 says that pure religion is to care for widows and orphans, and adoption is a very real way to live that out.

Financially Support Orphan Care Ministries

Not everyone can directly foster or adopt, but we can all support orphan ministries financially. There are many fantastic Christian organizations that facilitate adoptions, send mission teams to orphanages overseas, provide education and child sponsorship, and meet other needs.

Consider monthly sponsorship of an orphan through a ministry like Compassion International or World Vision. For $38-$65 a month, you can provide a child with material needs, health care, education assistance, mentoring, and the chance to hear about Jesus. What an impact!

Go on Short-Term Mission Trips to Care for Orphans

Short term mission trips are extremely helpful to orphanages in developing countries. Places that are understaffed and lacking in resources greatly appreciate the manpower, donations, and skills that visiting teams can offer.

Tasks may involve construction projects, running camps for kids, teaching English, or helping with daily care.

Missions organizations like Show Hope and Lifeline Children’s Services arrange orphanage-focused trips where everyday believers can share the love of Christ. No special skills are needed. As Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Going on an orphan missions trip allows you to do good in very hands-on ways!


Orphans occupy a special place in God’s heart because they desperately need care and provision. Throughout Scripture, God reveals his deep compassion for the fatherless and commands his people to emulate his care.

He promises provision, rescue, and blessing to those who care for the vulnerable out of sincere faith and compassion. Believers today have multiple avenues to answer God’s call to care practically for orphans in local and global contexts.

When we care for orphans as Scripture commands, we reflect God’s loving, compassionate heart to the world.

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