Editor's note: May is National Foster Care Month. Join us in prayer each day this month for children involved in foster care, the families who care for them, and for Buckner foster care and adoption staff. This post originally appeared here.
Anyone who has ever loved or been loved can tell you love is much more than a sentimental feeling. Real love requires sacrifice, patience, forgiveness and understanding.
According to 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.” Our only hope at loving well is to know and understand God’s love for us first.
The Bible describes God’s love in several ways, but one of my favorite descriptions is found in Psalm 136. The psalmist writes:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Other translations say it like this:
“God’s love never fails” (CEV)
“His love is eternal” (HCSB)
“His love never quits” (MSG)
One of our foster-to-adopt families we recently interviewed might translate it like this: “God’s love says, ‘I’m gonna love you no matter what.’”
Here’s what the mom had to say when asked about loving the children placed in their care:
“A child was brought to our door and she was black and blue from the top to bottom, and another child was burned. And here I am supposed to love the child, and that’s the easy part. But love the parent? Forgive the person who did this to this child? The Lord has changed me and has allowed me to love that person. It’s a miracle.
“But honestly, sometimes it’s not easy to love this child when they’re throwing a fit and hitting the walls and kicking and spitting at you, but the Lord has taught us that love isn’t just something easy, something that just comes and you don’t have to work through it. It isn’t what the world presents as love.
“Love is a process and a commitment. It’s when you say, ‘I’m gonna love you whether you spit at me or not. I’m gonna love you through this. I’m gonna love you even though I know what you did and it’s awful, but I’m gonna love you because Jesus does and He wants you to know and understand that, so through me, hopefully you’ll see a little bit of that.’”
Though imperfect humans, this couple is clearly committed to loving these children and their families in such a way that points them to the perfect, unconditional love of God that never fails. Incredible!
I praise God for bringing to Buckner foster families like this one who know God’s love and are committed to sharing it with children from hard places. I pray he provides more as there are still thousands of children in Texas who need to know this love.
Cara Jane Brister is the marketing coordinator for Buckner Foster Care and Adoption. She and her husband live in Norman, Okla., where they recently welcomed their first baby, Bo.