What a surprised it was for us to learn that folks are VERY open with their opinion about foster care. In the 2 months that we have been foster parents I have heard so many excuses about why folks couldn't do it.
It' like when they understand who our addition to the family is and what means they do one of 2 things. either completely ignore the child and pretend they didn't see an extra child. or they come up with an excuse why THEY could never do it.
Yes we can't save the world but the bible clearly teaches in James 1 26&27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Yes, it's probably out of your comfort zone.. I know it was out of my comfort zone for a long time! I didn't feel qualified, I make lots of mistakes with my biological children, We don't make enough money to support more children. We even used the excuse that God doesn't call everyone to help the orphans and widows. That some of us are just called to be prayer warriors for the families that ARE caring for the orphans.. However if this were so wouldn't James 1:26&27 state that Pure and faultless religion is this: that SOME of you in the church look after the orphans and widows...
But that's not what it says at all!!! God sees caring for the orphans and widows as Pure and faultless... And when God sees something as pure and faultless how can you go wrong by doing it?????
which brings up the next question of why would anyone try to discourage us from opening our home to foster care... They say, your hearts will be broken when children go back to their parents,
they say: but those children come with lots of problems and needs, are you sure that you can handle the special needs of these children???
Yes, our hearts will be broken: one Bible verse comes to mind specifically : James 1:1-9 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ...
Why would we run from something that will draw our hearts closer to Jesus.
And in our first 2 months of Foster Care our hearts have been broken many times... Many days I wished for my life back, when the only baby in our home was a well adjusted 4 yr old. And then I would fall to my knees with guilt and give it all to Jesus! When I think of how many times I cried out to Jesus not only on my behalf but on the behalf of a poor hurting child, I wouldn't trade those moments of sweet, sweet presence of the Lord for anything in the world! the refining of our souls happens best when we have no more strength left to draw on.
Yes Children that have been dealt a hard blow, beyond their control, in life, will have issues... But Jesus teaches:
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:45
'The least of these' who are they???
But we do know this... If Jesus came to town and needed a place to stay for a few days.. needed food and a bed, wouldn't we all be rushing to offer our home?? our best bed and we would cook the best food!! we would probably even spend more money on that week's groceries...
But Jesus clearly tells his disciples in Matthew 25:45 that if they didn't look after the least of these they didn't look after him...
And no we can NOT handle any of those special needs that these children might have.. But Jesus can!!!
The book of James shows that even back then the human race was all about self gain and materialism; James 2:1-4 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Jesus loves 'the least of these' every bit as much as he loves our own children, our nieces, our nephews, US... Why is our 'comfort', our well being and our money more important to us than the life of someone that Jesus loves??
One of My biggest fears was how our decision to open our homes to foster children would affect our biological children... How would they react if a child that we had grown to love would be reunified with their biological parents?? to this day this hasn't happened yet so I don't have any experience on how it will affect our family but I can tell you this.. God is Bigger than my fears!! we have never pretended to our biological children that the foster child is ours, We pray for healing for foster child's family, We pray that Jesus would come to that family and revival would come to their house. Because ultimately, Foster Care isn't something that we do because we solely want to adopt a child, It isn't something that we do because we want to be someone important or for any form of human glory. Foster Care is about Jesus, it's about saying "here am I Lord, Use me".
So yes, Prayer warriors are needed, very needed, And I am ever so thankful for all my friends that pray for us and lift our family up to Jesus.... But I challenge everyone of you to add this to the end of every prayer you pray for families that are adopting and fostering,
"Here am I Lord use me"
And then listen for God's voice, and believe that he will be there with every step of the way!