A couple of years ago, my wife and I decided to become foster parents. This was after much prayer and discussion because we knew that many of these children come to you following some sort of trauma. They are broken vessels in need of the glue of love to make them whole. We needed to ask God and ourselves if we were ready for such a challenge.
And what a challenge it became. Each child we received came with their own tragic story and these experiences had changed them. Anger was common, acting out a given. We had our lives threatened, our car stolen (twice), they have run away, tried to conjure up demons and told us we were better dead than alive.
But, you know what? We’d do it all again because each one of these children also had beauty within them as our two foster sons now have. Acting up is only a defense mechanism. The safer they feel the more they reject you, because they don’t want to go through the hurt of being rejected yet again.
I’m sure God looks down at these poor children and He weeps at what they have been made to endure in their lives. That’s what makes the foster parent program such an amazing blessing. It gives you an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life by transferring God’s love to them through the love He has for all His children.
Proverbs 22:6 teaches us to, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Yet, good training usually begets a good attitude and bad training begets a bad one. Sometimes the children you see on the streets have no good lessens to glean from. Sometimes they have only known abuse and negativity and the angels weep.
In Ephesians 6:4 we read, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in discipline and instruction of the Lord.” By discipline here, God means structure, allowing children to know what to expect from both the good and the bad. By instruction He asks us to bring up our children in the Word so that they might take on the very nature of God full of mercy and grace towards others.
Children are precious in God’s eyes because they are just starting their journey. They are vulnerable and needy but full of possibilities. They are a, “Heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3)
The story is told in Mark 10 of a time when the people were bringing their children to Jesus so that He might bless them. The disciples saw this and they rebuked the parents for bothering Jesus. Then Jesus said something interesting. He said, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
If a child is raised in love, they have been raised with the opportunity to experience all the goodness of God. It is easy for them to believe because the world has not yet tarnished their faith. They are willing participants of life and God makes perfect sense to them. Their faith is pure because they have had no one telling them they are worthless. They have an open mind and an open heart to place their trust in God.
That is the same attitude that God is looking for from us and the same attitude we hope to instill in our foster sons. The world has had every opportunity to take that innocence away, but God asks you to trust in Him to such an extent that your childlike virtue may once again be found. He asks you to come to Him so that He may bless you and He rebukes all those that stand in the way of you accomplishing that.
Let your worldliness depart from you and use God’s love to help others do the same. Surrender your adult roadblocks and become like a child of God again, full of admiration and wonder. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for accepting us as your children and help us to regain the innocence we once had that would allow us to trust in You completely. Forgive us for wondering off into worldliness and show us the way to heaven. Amen.