Love your neighbor

There is so much in scripture that comforts me. Romans 8:28 is an example of a such a verse. There have been times when I have had to lean on the knowledge that God is working for my good no matter what my current circumstances might be. All parents have had to cling to those precious words in that verse. We have prayed them in hospitals, in court hearings and while we waited to board planes that would start the journey of bringing our children home.

There are passages that trouble me greatly as well. Mostly because living them is hard. The passage below is from Matthew’s gospel.

Jesus had just silenced the Sadducees on the question of the resurrection. Sadducees as you may recall did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. The Pharisees standing around thought this was a good time to question Him.

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)

Entire sermons could be preached on those five verses. I have heard several in my lifetime. Loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind is obvious. Saying that loving your neighbor is equally important as loving God is mind blowing. Jesus says there no difference between the two commandments. So how do I love my neighbor? Better yet how do I love my neighbor with the same love that I have for myself?

Is foster care love your neighbor parenting?

I believe that a way to love your neighbor the same way you love yourself is by being a foster parent. Jesus spoke a lot about the relationship between parents and children. He taught how a father wouldn’t give their child a rock when they asked for bread. The question is can you give your neighbor’s child bread too?

I have come to realize that foster care is loving your neighbor because you are raising their children even if it is only for a time. You are standing in the gap for them while they are unable to fulfill their parenting responsibilities. You are caring for their children as if they were your own. You are giving bread to these kids when rocks are the only things they can see.

There are some negative perceptions about foster families, foster children and their families. I’m not going to get into that here because some of it is deserved but a great deal of it is not. Kayla recently wrote about foster care called “A Change of Plans.” You can read it by clicking here.

Fostering can be easy and it can be hard but so can everything else in life. Perceptions about foster care should not be a discouragement to anyone. You should rather rest in the knowledge that, through foster, care you are obeying the commandment to love your neighbor the same way you love yourself.

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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