If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James, Chapter 1, verses 26-27.
It’s easy to be a “Back-Seat Christian,” becoming complacent in our relationship with God. In doing so, we are letting everyone else take care of God’s work while we focus on ourselves. God says He wants us to take an active role as Christians. He wants us to visit the fatherless, those grieving and we are not to get caught up in worldly values.
With so many single parent families, visiting the fatherless could be a relatively easy thing to do. If we each took the time to touch the life of one child, we could make a major difference. Some might think that they don’t have the time, but you could include neighbor kids in your game of basketball with your child. Family board games are nice to invite other kids to play. Even if you don’t have children of your own, you can take a child you know with you to the library. You can invite them over to bake or BBQ. Even doing routine chores seem special when you’ve invited a child to help you. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and helps them feel like they are contributing. When you take your child to a scouting, church or school activity; include a child who wouldn’t have been able to attend otherwise.
Going to a school once a week for 30 minutes, can positively impact the life of a child. (When I was a teacher in a low income school, I tried to get volunteers to come and read for 30 minutes a week with my students who had behavior problems. Within days, I would notice a positive change in the behavior choices that these children made. Interestingly, I wasn’t having the volunteer focus on teaching the child to read or anything else academic. The vast majority of these kids are quite capable of doing academic tasks. They just have so many other things going on in their lives that it’s often difficult for them to focus on academics. The time with the volunteers was really meant to be a positive time for the adult and the child to spend together. Isn’t it amazing that 30 minutes of contact with a child each week could make such a difference?)I’m not suggesting that everyone should volunteer to spend time with kids who have behavior problems, although that’s not a bad idea. I’m using this as an example. If we each took the time to be with a child for 30 minutes a week, just think of the positive impact we could have on the children of our country. It has the added benefit of making us positive role models of our Christian values to our own children.
Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.