Love is life’s most powerful motivator and has far greater depth and meaning than most people realize.
It always does what is best for others and can empower us to face the greatest of problems. We are all born with a lifelong thirst and hunger for love. Our hearts desperately need it like our lungs need oxygen. Love changes our motivation for living. Relationships become meaningful with it. Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is. Those pillars are patience and kindness.
For the most part, foster children come from families where this thirst and hunger for love was almost never met. When they become a part of our foster homes, we must remind ourselves that they are starved for it!. That’s why they can never get enough of our unconditional, and patient love and acceptance. Our love and patience will foster healing to take place, and inspire them to also grow into patient and loving individuals themselves.
Patient love gives your foster child permission to be human. It teaches them that everyone fails, and that when a mistake is made, they deserve time to correct it. It will give them the ability to hold on during the tough times in relationships rather than bailing out or shutting down under pressure.
During our walk as foster parents we are sure to encounter many challenging and sometimes extremely frustrating situations and stand off’s with both our foster child and the child care system; So how can we become more patient and not react to these circumstances that seem to enfold upon us? “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29
When we choose to be patient, we will respond in positive ways to negative situations. If you are slow to anger, you choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper. Love helps you to focus and allow you to extend mercy to those around you. Patience stops problems in their tracks. It clears the air. It is a choice to control our emotions rather than allowing our emotions to control us, and shows discretion. This in return allows us the opportunity to not rush to judgment but to listen to what the other person is saying. The practice of patience will foster peace and quiet. Yes I said practise, it doesn’t come naturally. We have to consciously take a decision every day to practice at it!. The rewards thereof will echo long into your foster child’s adulthood. “Now these three remain: Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
Adapted from: “The Love Dare” by Stephen & Alex Kendrick