Foster parenting encouragement is part of what I try to do here on the blog. I know firsthand how hard some days can be. It doesn’t matter how long you are involved with foster parenting. It is like running a marathon. It takes good preparation, endurance, support, good fuel and good rest.
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If you lack in any of these areas you will get frustrated, may want to give up completely, break down, stop and never cross the finish line well.
Let’s dive deeper into this. I love what God says about all these elements. I think they can be applied to many areas of hardship, burden, and stepping in to brokenness. But here is how it relates to foster parenting.
From preparing mentally, emotionally, physically, and with education there is a lot to be done to prepare. But if you claim Christ as your Lord and Savior then your biggest preparation needs to be spiritually. Satan hates Christian foster parents. He loves the brokenness of broken families. He hates you stepping in. The minute you say yes to foster care Satan starts to attack. Spiritual warfare is real. Be aware and be on guard. Make sure you are right with God. Make sure you are in the word. Make sure God is on your side for if he is then who can be against? Pray, pray and pray some more!
Consider how important your role as a foster parent is to kingdom building work. The amount of broken people you will be in contact with. You have so much influence. Foster parenting is such an important role.
1 Samuel 12:24 Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.
Romans 12:9-13 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 1Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Psalm 121:8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
These kids need you to endure. There have been days where I have been screaming into my pillow balling my eyes out. There have been times of fear and worry about these precious kids future. Foster parenting is hard but if you have been around here for any length of time you have heard me say it will forever be harder to be a foster child. So when you feel like giving up, when the frustration takes over, I want you to read over these verses. ENDURE! ENDURE! ENDURE! Your are doing kingdom building work and your reward will be great.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
2 Timothy 2:11-13 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 1 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself.
Romans 5:3-5 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 15:4-5 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
1 Peter 2:20For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
Hebrews 12:7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Colossians 1:10-11 So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.
1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Gaining a support system and being a support system is vital. A good friend (especially a foster parent friend) is oh so valuable. You cannot do this on your own. You need people who are willing to walk through this with you. It might not be who you think it will be. Don’t let lack of support deter you if you have a heart for fostering. Pray for God to bring supportive people into your life. I want you to be careful about who you try to find support in. Not everyone is going to be able to and if you are trying to find support in someone who is constantly gossiping, bashing others, or being negative. Be careful. When you are dealing with the negatives of foster care that type of person can really bring you into a bed mental space. So make sure the people you find support in are positive, Godly, and up lifting.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Proverbs 16:28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
This goes hand in hand with preparation but I felt it needed it’s own section because you need to be constantly fueling yourself with the word. Get in the bible! Daily! Know the scripture so when you are having a difficult time verses will come to mind. The Holy Spirit will bring you comfort and direction. But we need to be in the word for us to hear God’s still small voice. Fill yourself and this world with the glory of God.
Numbers 14:21 But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD,
Psalm 72:19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!
Jeremiah 23:24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.
Ephesians 4:10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Ephesians 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Isaiah 6:3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
Psalm 33:5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
Ephesians 3:19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Philippians 1:11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
You cannot fill from an empty cup. It’s ok to rest, it’s ok to take time for self care. It’s ok to say I need help. Rest is important in a marathon and in foster parenting. Use respite, use baby sitters, take turns with your husband for alone time without the kids. REST. You will not be able to foster parent well without rest.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Psalm 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Exodus 33:14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”