Watch What Love Does
We know from our experiences with close friends and family that love takes work. As much as we wish life was a Hallmark movie, we experience loss, challenges, and pain that sometimes feels unresolved. However, as Christians, we are not given conditions of loving others. We forgive, we apologize, we give, and as much as it depends on us, try to be at peace with those around us (Romans 12:18). Our faith is expressed by love in action.
In foster care and adoption, we love kids and families that sometimes test us to our core. Our desire is to serve and love biological parents, kids, caseworkers, etc., but we are only able to provide patience, kindness, humility and selflessness because the God of the universe is at work within us. We’re tired and don’t feel like we have anything more to give. When love is carried out in our actions, the Lord’s attributes are witnessed in us.
Project 1.27 families are encouraged to constantly go back to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to consider how God’s love is practically applied. How can you reach outside of yourself to watch what love does in the face of difficulty when serving your foster/adoptive family?
- Stay Engaged- Sometimes when things get tough with children from hard places, our gut response is to back away. Maybe you don’t know what to say or know how to react to certain behaviors. Be relentless. Keep trying to be present and available to the foster/adoptive family or child even when it challenges your comfort.
- See the Need- People behave the way they do for a reason. Most often, difficult behavior comes from an internal or external need that is not being met. Is the child hungry, sad, scared, bored or needing connection? Learn from your foster/adoptive parents how to help meet the need to practically love the child well.
- Reach Out- You can demonstrate your love for your foster/adoptive family by asking them what they need. You’re excited for your quiet weekend, but your family comes to mind. How can you go out of your way to be a blessing?
- Learn More- Often it’s through awareness that we are able to have compassion or experience empathy. Instead of making assumptions or minimizing the experience of another, gain insight as to what they may be trying to overcome. Empowered to Connect is a great place to start learning more.
Although many of these suggestions apply to caring for kids from hard places and their foster/adoptive families, consider other people involved in foster care who are in need of some love. Caseworkers! March is National Social Worker month. Is there a way that you can show love to county caseworkers? By providing gift cards, a note of encouragement or another creative display of support, you can be a light to a group that works deep in the trenches usually without appreciation or notice. Allow the Lord to open your heart and watch what love does.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:4-7Tags: Support