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Stepping Forward in Humility As You Love Your Children in Foster Care

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

Romans 12:3 (NLT)

I’ll be honest. I’m a classic “Type A” personality and am extremely confident in my ability to do any task (except opening the pickle jar). This boldness in my personality can be both a great strength and a great fault. And, like anything, it can be used in good and bad ways. I get into trouble when I use it apart from God and use it in pride. The “I” in “I can do this” doesn’t leave much room for faith, trust, and the Holy Spirit, especially where foster parenting and loving the children in my home is concerned. It’s the proverbial toddler trying to put on their pants by themselves, “I do it myself!” Yep. That’s me. 

Paul’s warning in Romans 12:3 rings out in my ears many times. One of the most vivid ways was in growing our family through foster care and adoption. As parents of an eleven-year-old, we thought we had this parenting thing nailed. She was a straight-A student and well-behaved; we had a great relationship, and it was easy peasy. In our minds, adding another daughter would be a breeze. We were very wrong. And, in many ways, we were too prideful in our parenting prowess to see it. It took years of heartache for us to finally begin to learn the ins and outs of parenting kids with trauma and loss before we could see that the parenting style we used with our daughter by birth was wholly inadequate for our the kids added to our family through foster care and adoption. 

What is Humility?

Humility isn’t about seeing yourself as horrible, inadequate, or a bad parent. It’s about rejecting the idea that you have everything under control and don’t need any help—even God’s. It takes incredible faith in God to step outside yourself and see just how ill-equipped you are apart from Him. For us, it wasn’t just about letting God in; it was also about letting others in to help. There’s a specific kind of vulnerability that’s required to tell a friend, a pastor, a counselor, or a case worker that you are feeling in over your head and need help. It’s that very vulnerability that ultimately saved our family. 

Prayers for Humility As You Love Your Foster Children

As you step forward in humility, I encourage you to be honest in your evaluation of yourself and your community. Are you a “I do it myself!” person? If so, take a look at the community of friends around you and begin to have some vulnerable conversations about your faith journey to care for children. Open some doors to people who can be in your corner when the going gets tough—and it will get tough.

Here are some prayer starters to help you seek God in a deeper way:

  • Lord, help me to see the ways that I am prideful in my own ability. Please give me the wisdom and humility to step outside of myself to seek your guidance and allow others to come alongside me and help.
  • Reveal the people in our community to whom you would have me open up and practice vulnerability about this journey. 
  • Bring people into my life with experience greater than mine and help me humble myself to seek their wisdom.

Step forward in humility today, and allow God to guide you as you love your foster children.

© 2024 Pam Parish. Used with Permission.


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