13 May Three Reasons Why We Don’t Foster
In any pursuit in life, it is necessary to pause on occasion and remember what it is that motivates us to continue on. As we consider why we engage in the foster care system and community, it is also important that we examine our hearts to ensure we are not involved for the wrong reasons. As believers, we fight to restore brokenness for God’s glory, and when we step out in faithfulness, Satan wants to push us back. It is easy to believe we are doing good work, but even good work with the wrong reasons robs the Lord of His glory.
Three Reasons Why We Don’t Foster:
1. We don’t get involved in foster care to add to the gospel.
As humans, most days we want to be able to check off a list or achieve our way into security because then we are in control. The beauty of the gospel is that we are saved based on nothing that we have done. Therefore, nothing we do, whether it be fostering a child, caring for a biological family, or supporting parents in need, is going to earn us a spot in God’s kingdom.
2. We don’t get involved in foster care to fix a broken system.
Though the child welfare system is complex, challenging, and sometimes even harmful to children and families, making it better is not our primary motivation to engage in foster care. No matter how hard we try or how involved we become, there will be sin in this world until Jesus returns and restores His kingdom. Do we seek to make change by loving children, advocating for our kids and families, or engaging in discussion about policies? Absolutely. But we do this because we want people to see how the Lord wins hearts today, in order to point them to His greatest victory over sin and death.
3. We don’t get involved in foster care because we are equipped enough.
Our resources or abilities cannot be our motivation to foster a child. We will never be enough to save a child. The “savior complex” is often entrenched deep within us, so deep that we cannot identify or articulate it. But if our motivation for bringing a traumatized child home is to heal them and make them whole, we will be sorely disappointed. Whether the child is 17 days or 17 years old, there will be days that we fail them as a parent. And when too many of those moments and days get stacked up, what we are finding our hope in—succeeding as a parent—will come crashing down. This can have devastating results, such as sending a child out of our home because our expectations were not met.
However, we are called to get involved in foster care. The reason we are to engage in this broken system and with these broken families is found in Galatians 4.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
We have no hope to offer outside of Him, and it is because of His love alone that we have the power to extend that to others. Only the power of the gospel will sustain us through this process and nothing else.