James 1:27 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.
There are literal widows and orphans today who need our help. Widows who are widows indeed, without even family members to care for them. But this biblical category of people who are particularly near to the Lord’s heart – widows and orphans – is much, much broader than most Christians have realized. One lady commented:
Couldn’t all the passages that speak about caring for the fatherless apply to children who do indeed have a living father, but he doesn’t protect and teach like a father, but rather hurts them? They have a biological father, but who would debate that they don’t really have a protector and nurturer. Wouldn’t most everybody agree that we as a country do right to remove children from dangerous situations and place them in a safe home? So, when the Bible speaks of caring for the fatherless and widows, I’m wondering if the woman who has a husband who doesn’t love her, but abuses her, might she fit under the category of widow? She has a husband, but no one to love and care for her.
She is EXACTLY correct! Here we are, looking all around us for widows and orphans, and yet we miss them. They are right in front of us – many sitting in the pews of our own churches. We are fooled, just because there is a man with them. But he is no husband or father. He is their tormentor from whom they need rescue.