Friday, August 20, 2010


To borrow from a popular pro-life slogan:  "Some children are fatherless by chance; not one should be fatherless by choice."

Nowadays we tend to think of orphans as being children bereft of both parents.  In the biblical sense, though, an orphan needs only to have lost his father to fall under the special protection and consideration of God and those who love Him.  Widows and orphans are grouped together in the Bible so often because they were often of the same family.  We must care for the widows and orphans.  If you love the Lord and believe His word, then there are no two ways about it.

Now, one of the frustrating things about modern culture is that the majority of "widows and orphans" are husbandless and fatherless, not because of death or even imprisonment, but because of divorce, abandonment, or chosen single-motherhood.  As Christians, we are bound by faith to support and provide for these fatherless homes.  But, because the state of fatherlessness is a chosen one and a rampant one, the burden is becoming far too great on the Body, and, I believe, taking away resources, time, and attention from other vital ministries. 

There is a young mother at our church.  She has a two-year-old daughter and is pregnant.  She and her husband were separated, reconciled temporarily (hence her burgeoning belly), and then he flat out abandoned her.  Left.  Flew the coop.  Refuses to provide for his wife or their progeny.  Now, as her church family, it is a pleasure and a privilege to step up and support her in this horrible, difficult time.  But, when I told my own wonderful husband her story, he had another — possibly inspired — idea of how best to support her.

"You want me to get a bunch of guys together to hunt this bastard down?  I wish you'd let me keep that beating stick I found on the hike at Barnabas.  Shove that in his face and he'd hustle back and take responsibility, boy howdy."

OK, my first reaction was to laugh heartily and say, "Yep, that's a Christian reaction."  But, on further reflection, why shouldn't Christian men band together to go after other supposedly Christian men and hold their feet to the fire?  Part of the reason that community is so important in the life of a Christ follower is that, by ourselves, on our own watch, we simply cannot hold ourselves accountable.  It is pretty easy to make excuses for our own bad behavior — heck, it is one of our specialties!  Calling out others can get murky — what with that whole speck and plank thing; but, when a person's behavior actively hurts the Body of Christ — such as choosing to create by his actions a widow and orphans — he or she ought to be made to answer for it.  There used to be "shotgun weddings" — and maybe we need to reinvigorate and expand that tradition.      

I think that my husband's gut reaction was, in his own very special way, a compassionate one.  It is not compassionate to look about at the state of the American family and exhibit only tolerance for bad choices that devastate children and rip apart the fabric of society.  Tolerance is not love; tolerance is a passive virtue, and love is active.  And, while waving a stout beating stick under the nose of a wayward husband might not be the most seemly of convincers, it is probably an effective one.  I suggest that a league be formed within every congregation called the A.W.B.F.C, which stands for — you've guessed it! — the Ass-Whupping Brothers for Christ. 

1 comment:

Joelle said...

Ha ha! I love it. I think the men in this area should start their own chapter. :)