As we celebrated Father’s Day this past weekend, I was reminded of how incredibly different it was than last year.
It was June 16th, 2019—Father’s Day—when we got “the call.”
After five and a half years of marriage and no children of our own, the Lord, in his sovereign providence, saw it fit to make my wife and I the foster parents of two beautiful little girls.
One year later, it is incredible to see how our lives have changed. The girls have grown taller. Our toy count has steadily risen. And, overall, life is just a bit messier (both physically and metaphorically speaking).
But these are not the only things that have grown over the past year. I also see the clear evidence of God’s work in my own heart. As I think about celebrating Father’s Day for the first time as a father, I am reminded of a couple valuable lessons I learned over the past year.
I am incredibly selfish.
God designed us for relationships. They are an extension of his good and perfect character (James 1:17). Unfortunately, relationships also have the uncanny ability to draw out the sinful desires of our hearts. They can reveal the worst in us. I saw this with marriage. I see it even more with parenthood.
Going from a family of two to a family of four was a dramatic shift. Schedules had to be changed, which meant I had to be inconvenienced! Crazy, right? The house seemed to be in a constant state of disarray, which meant my OCD awareness rose to threat level 5. Anyone with me?
My sin has ever been before me this past year. At times it has been ugly. But it has also taught me to remember another important lesson…
God is abundantly gracious.
The Sunday before we got “the call,” my wife and I listened to a sermon on Acts 2:42-47. The preacher spoke about the nature of the early church—people constantly invading your home, sitting all over your furniture, and probably making a giant mess in the microwave. Can you relate?
There were a lot of ‘inconveniences’ in the early church. And yet, that is the nature of biblical love. It calls for sacrifice. It calls for us to be inconvenienced. This is what glorifies God—when we love others by considering them better than ourselves and putting their interests above our own (Philippians 2:3-4).
The reality is that God did work on me this past year. Those inconveniences on my schedule exposed idols in my heart that I needed to abandon. Those concerns I had for a tidy home gave way to the desire to create a fun, loving, and nurturing environment for our girls.
You see, God is in the business of using weak, foolish vessels to accomplish his good purposes. This is his abundant grace at work in us. As he said to the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).
In the words of the classic children’s song, “Jesus Loves Me,” I am weak, but he is strong.
To all the foster dads out there, it is my prayer that you would experience the abundant grace of your Heavenly Father this week. You are more sinful than you could ever understand, but in Christ, you are more loved than you could ever dare to imagine. His grace is sufficient. His grace is abundant.
Scott and his wife, Holly, love Jesus and people—including the little ones that they get to care for in their home as foster parents! Scott serves as an Associate Pastor of Student Ministries at their church and together, they enjoy running, reading, and drinking coffee.
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