What does the Bible say about parents who abandon their children?


Clarify Share Report Asked November 25 2015 Mini Anonymous

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B8c746f3 63c7 43eb 9665 ef7fba8e191b Kelli Trujillo Supporter Minister, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher, Musician
I am not sure that the Bible specifically addresses the issue of parents who abandon their children, but we can see the heart of God toward all children in many places. We find the account of Jesus correcting his disciples when they tried to turn children away from Him in Mark 10:13-16:

"And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, 'Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.' And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them."

In other places, we can see the practice of family members caring for children whose parents had died, such as Esther (Book of Esther) and Joash (2 Kings 11).

Job 39: 13-18 speaks derisively of the abhorrent behavior of a foolish ostrich toward her neglected offspring:

"The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, 
but are they the pinions and plumage of love?
For she leaves her eggs to the earth 
and lets them be warmed on the ground, 
forgetting that a foot may crush them 
and that the wild beast may trample them. 
She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; 
though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear, 
because God has made her forget wisdom 
and given her no share in understanding. 
When she rouses herself to flee, 
she laughs at the horse and his rider.

Lamentations 4: 2-4 likens the foolish behavior of wayward Israel to the ostrich's treatment of her young:

The precious sons of Zion, 
worth their weight in fine gold, 
how they are regarded as earthen pots, 
the work of a potter's hands! 

Even jackals offer the breast; 
they nurse their young, 
but the daughter of my people has become cruel, 
like the ostriches in the wilderness. 

The tongue of the nursing infant sticks 
to the roof of its mouth for thirst; 
the children beg for food, 
but no one gives to them.

Most of all, we are charged to be imitators of God, and God never forgets or abandons His children. Isaiah 49:14-18 reminds us of this:

"But Zion said, 'The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.' Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Your builders make haste; your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you. Lift up your eyes around and see; they all gather, they come to you. As I live," declares the Lord, "you shall put them all on as an ornament; you shall bind them on as a bride does." 

The heart of God is clear: It is never His intention for children to be abandoned or neglected. Children are precious to Him, and He is not pleased with those who neglect the needs of their children.

November 29 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Great question! Let's say the father abandons his children. He takes the easy way out. He shirks his responsibility. He may not even pay child support. He may disappear completely as it happened to my father-in-law when he was a young boy. He still turned out OK, even exceptional. He held a job for 43 years, and stayed married to his wife and stayed with his 2 girls, too.

I believe the Bible speaks to this. The apostle Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:8 --

"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

November 02 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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