Up and down the country there is a shortage of foster parents and sadly, an abundance of children who live without the stability of a loving family life. There are many stories from within our diocese of individuals sacrificing their own interests and ambitions to help young people realise their own potential and unique gifts. Some long term foster parents in our diocese today have taken on the role whilst still in their 20’s and without children of their own.
To avoid possible identification of individual children, we’re not publishing a single story, but today is an opportunity to pray for and remember all those who see fostering as part of their Christian discipleship and also to remember the newly arrived refugee children who have been fostered or allocated supported lodgings in our diocese.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Not everyone is blessed with an easy upbringing, and not everyone receives the love required to help them to flourish from early life to adulthood.
A child placed in foster care can feel left in the system; moved from place to place, with no real home, few possessions, and a lack of sense of place and family. For them to receive the love and acceptance of a foster family who really cares for them can be a life saver. These verses from Romans show that no matter what our upbringing we are all accepted into God’s family, adopted as sons and daughters and in receipt of his love. Everyone deserves to know the unconditional love and acceptance that comes from God.
Bringing up children is never easy, there are always challenges and difficulties. So, we all also need God’s Holy Spirit to guide us, comfort and counsel us through all of life’s challenges. What better way can there be to reflect God’s glory and thank him for his love to us, than working through the difficulties and passing on that love to the young people in our care?
We first shared this story as part of the Bishops’ Lent Appeal 2017