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“Whether a child is in your life for moments or years, you could potentially be the only reflection of Jesus that they ever encounter.” (Parish, Pam, 2014) Ready or Not: 30-Day Discovery for Families Growing Through Foster Care and Adoption)

Living out the biblical mandate to show love to all – even in their weakest states – is put to the ultimate test in the journey of foster care. In 1 John 4:7-8, we learn that we must show love to others because God is love and His perfection is shown when we give and serve charitably. 

In foster care, sharing love has to be more than lip service if it’s to have maximum impact. What can be done, practically, to embody the essence of true love and to mirror the image of Christ to a foster child? 


First: Check Your Own Motives

Sometimes it’s important to go back to your own original “why”. Why did I choose foster care? Why did the Lord choose me for it? Why am I investing in the lives of foster children? 

When you can sincerely and truthfully answer these questions with a statement of purpose and faith, you can then be most effective in sharing hope and healing with others. 

Next: Be PRESENT – In Mind and Body

Love is action-packed, it’s intentional, and it’s resolved. Whatever situation you find yourself in during the fostering process, let love be at the forefront of your responses. Not for personal gain or emotional fulfillment on your part, but because intentional, directed love always reaches its target. Just physically being present is not enough at times and just being emotionally available is also not sufficient. To solidify a positive outcome, it takes a balance of being present and aware of how to lace a circumstance with love and then immediately and intentionally acting on that awareness. 

Follow Up and Reinforce 

There is success in performing the same action repetitively. A child coming from “normal” circumstances with no abandonment and abuse in their history needs consistent repetitions of true love to find solace. How much more so will a battered, betrayed, and broken child be in need of that reinforcement? 

What to do? Love when they seem to respond well to your attempts. And love when they seem to completely refuse them. It’s in these repetitions that we show the unfailing love of Christ. Again, this may truly be the only Jesus they ever witness. He never leaves or abandons and we can follow his model of love. 

Last: Never Give Up

When the results are quantifiable and the success is apparent, fostering can seem “worth it”. When there are little to no results at all and attempts seem futile – that’s when fostering is definitely worth it. Love doesn’t fail, it keeps no record of wrongs and it believes for the best – always. 

Let LOVING and SHARING always be a part of your FOSTER CARING!