Something I have learned in being a foster parent is that we were created to love. It is a very rare person, an evil person, who does not love anyone. It's a hard truth, when you are a foster parent, because you want to think ill of the biological parents. There is a reason the children came to you, and its natural to want to blame, dislike, and focus only on the bad.
The thing is, everyone has good traits and bad traits. Everyone makes mistakes, bad judgement calls, and bad choices. Everyone fails.
Yes, you can argue that some are worse than others. This may be true, but we cannot overlook the good in people, just because the bad clouds what is there. Instead of blaming others, we need to be building them up, teaching them, and showing them what love really is.
Too often I see my non-Christian friends talk negatively about the religious people. I wish I could say, they are being bias, but no. Us Christians, judge on the outward appearance, not on the heart. We are quick to jump to conclusions and take a bias stance. We are quick with our tempers, yet judge those who treat us poorly. We show God's love in a way that God never intended. We act as if love is exclusive to those who deserve it and earned it.
How are people ever going to learn how to love well, if they have never been loved properly themselves? For those of us who know what it means to love unconditionally, we need to step out of our ideas of what makes a good person, and love on all those around us.
So what does love look like: It is patient even when the person is rude and self seeking, it is kind even when the person is disrespectful. It is not jealous, but wants the best for that person. It is not bragging about your goodness, but noticing theirs. It is not prideful because of your ability to love, but wanting to show them how to love like you do. It is not rude even when the person deserves it. It is not to satisfy your own desires. It is not filled with anger over past events and pointing these out when they wrong you again. It does not rejoice when the other fails, but rejoices when they find the truth. It protects people from harm, pain, evil, even when you get hurt. It's full of hope, not just for yourself, but for others. But more than all that, it never stops loving, just because you were hurt by them. You still show respect, you still show kindness.
You can love, and yet protect yourself from harm. God never says Trust everyone. Love does not mean trust. I do not give my address or my last name to bio parents. It would not be wise. I do not trust them, until they have earned my trust. Trust must be earned, love does not have to be. I do not leave my child with people I do not trust, even when I love them. I do not go alone with people I do not trust, even if I love them. I do not tell secrets to people I do not trust, even if I love them. Trust and love are not the same thing. God says love everyone, he never said trust them.
No, these are not my ideas. I'm not that wise. I stole these ideas from the good book. I believe in protecting ourselves, but I also believe in love.
This Christian mom is far from perfect, but continually strives to grow and develop. She is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and focuses a lot on personal growth. She loves to share what she has learned through her studies and her own failures, as well as walks alongside other mothers as they learn together the ins and outs of parenting.