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By Mark Shaw

In James 1:27, the Bible says this:

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. 

Today, our society’s orphans are addicts who have been abandoned, neglected, abused, and mistreated by their parents. 

I have lost count of the number of persons who have told me that their first use of marijuana, alcohol, opioids, cocaine, and even methamphetamines was with their mother or father. I have heard too many times how someone was physically and even sexually abused by a friend or family member, often times in exchange for money to the parent for the sexual abuse inflicted upon the child that paid for drugs.

Wives who have “lost” husbands to addiction are, in a sense, widows

Widows are the women who are often abandoned, neglected, abused, and mistreated by the men they are married to, or living with in a common law arrangement. These men will often leave their homes for the bar scene and commit the sins of drunkenness, adultery, and fornication, to name a few. Then, some of those men will come into the home and physically and/or sexually abuse the woman and/or kids. It might be better for that woman to be a widow than to have to subject herself and her kids to a man like that! But functionally speaking, these women are living life similar to a widow: alone and even burdened by this missing-in-action man. 

As the church, we have an opportunity to help the addicted persons we serve through counseling and group programs like Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED

These addicted persons are modern day versions of orphans and widows functionally living their lives in similar ways. 

In James 1:27, religion is meant to be positive in that the writer is reminding the church to serve those who do not have a head of protection in this life – orphans and widows. They are weakened by the lack of human protection that God has provided when mankind abandons the responsibilities that are God-given to us when we are blessed to be husbands, fathers, and mothers. Orphans and widows are to be protected by the church who fill the role of a parent and/or husband in a spiritual sense for them.

That’s one reason The Addiction Connection is so passionate for the church to help the addicted because it is pure, undefiled religion (in the good sense of that word)!


Thanks for reading!

The Addiction Connection offers hope and healing to those struggling with addiction of any kind. We are a network of resources, ministries, and biblical programs and our team across the nation and world is available for direction and wisdom for any of your addiction-related questions and needs. 

Quick Links

Looking for biblical addiction training? Find out about our 4-6 month Commissioning Program HERE.

Here is a list of people we have trained in biblical addiction counseling through our Commissioning Program who you can reach out to for hope and help. 

Need a Biblical Residential Program? Here are some we recommend

Need a Biblical Non-Residential Program? Here are the ones we’d recommend. 

Are you a leader wanting to help addicts? Check out this disciple-making curriculum we created just for you entitled Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED.

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