Foster care is probably the most difficult thing my family and I have ever done. It’s more difficult than completing a Ph.D., moving several times across the country, making friends as 30-somethings, and remodeling a kitchen (don’t underestimate the magnitude of that task).

Foster care is hard. But you should still do it. The Old Testament is replete with commands about caring for society’s most vulnerable—the orphan, the widow, the poor, and the immigrant (see Mal. 3:5; Isa. 1:17; Deut. 10:18, 14:25; Exod. 22:22-24). These were the people most likely to be taken advantage of and to struggle in a society based on family relationships and family property. God, therefore, takes special care in commanding his people to care for those who would otherwise be destitute.

The New Testament continues in this same vein, with James even stating, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (1:27). The principle is exactly the same: New Testament believers should care for society’s most vulnerable.

Russ Meek

Associate Professor of Old Testament at William Tennent School of Theology