Pat Answers and Prayer
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
1 Timothy 5:13
And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
When fostering, you have an incredible opportunity to live missionally in your everyday life in a way that is especially noticeable. Those who live near you, work with you, or attend the same schools will know there is something different about your family. Hopefully, they realize that difference is the Gospel. However, they may not, and what you can't control is how they interpret that difference.
Several times in my mission of motherhood, people have approached me with possibly well-meaning, but overwhelmingly inappropriate comments about my family. Things that might seem absolutely abhorrent to ask a biological family can come flying at you in a surprise assault under the guise of concern or curiosity.
In every parent-foster child relationship, you have an incredible responsibility to guard the child’s story. You probably know a lot of backstory from meeting with counselors, social workers, and the biological family. If that sweet child is in foster care, then somehow, some way, Satan has launched a vicious attack over that child’s heart and appears to be winning.
Guard that story well. Honor each child’s future testimony and guard sensitive hearts by not feeling compelled or even justified in sharing any more than is absolutely necessary. If you are meeting with administration at school, there will be things you must share. If you are meeting with the social worker, there may be behaviors or tendencies that have to be addressed. Praise the Lord these professions are covered by mandatory reporter laws, and they know all too well the need for confidentiality and decorum.
The specific areas I want to encourage you to be cautious with are day-to-day social relationships with people such as neighbors, schoolmates, and extended family. Sharing the hard stuff here can’t be unshared. Once it's out, it’s out for good. I imagine trying to shove toothpaste back in a tube that's just been messily squeezed all over the place.
If they are feeling a heart tug over watching you just live your life, then direct them to your fostering agency or organization. Maybe God is using your obedience to move the needle in their hearts toward orphan care. And if for some reason they are offended that you won’t share the details over a child’s life, then just keep on keeping on caring for the little souls in your home. Don’t worry; God’s still got this!
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