Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fostering Knowledge of the Gospel

family readingWe still haven't adopted any children, but we have been keeping two foster kids for the last couple of months. Getting three kids' homework and four kids' baths taken care of consumes most of our evenings, so when we do get time to sit down and read a story, I want to make it count — enter the Big Picture Story Bible.

Recently we were reading the story of Noah and the flood, and my eldest volunteered that God wouldn't destroy the world again with water but with fire. (Insert happy dance.) The older foster child said everyone would go to heaven then. And I told her no.

"What?!"

She was aghast. She had never heard such a patently unfair thing in her six years — and that includes the times I've grounded her from the tv for hitting her brother.

There are two things I want to say about that experience.

1. In taking these two children into our home, we got to make sure that they heard the gospel — both the bad news and the good — at least once in their lives. A seed has been planted that will hopefully bear fruit in their souls. That's a big part of why we're doing this. It is an honor and a privilege. I encourage all of you to try it. (It's not a lifetime commitment.)

2. These kids have been in some church for at least the last year and a half (between my house and their previous foster home), and they are just finding out everyone doesn't automatically go to heaven. What are we teaching our kids?

Perhaps we think six years old is too young. But when these kids leave us in a couple of months, they may never go to church again. And that may be true of more kids than we know. We have to make use of every opportunity. Their eternity may depend on it.

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Photo by Travis Seitler

7 comments:

Salim said...

There's an ethical issue here - as you mentioned you are foster-parents and not adoptive parents. Is it right to evangelize to these children?

I'm sure you feel it is right, and more so - you feel that it is in some sense your duty...

But would you be sympathetic to a muslim or scientologist couple who felt the same way towards children who were temporarily in their care?

ChrisB said...

I openly acknowledge my double standard on this one.

John Myste said...

Terrorizing your temporary children probably isn't has wise as it sounds.

You do them no favors by planting seeds you call truth.

Once they are adopted, if they are adopted, they will be instructed on their new parent's truths and reality will be formed, and your truth will simply be more past debris they must wash off their children.

ChrisB said...

John, so we shouldn't do anything at all because it might be useless? I work in oncology; my whole life is based on the opposite premise.

John Myste said...

Chris,

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I mean you should not do anything at all because it will probably be harmful, programming that creates dissonance and must be removed (and will be).

Nancy said...

The advice given is as silly as saying a child shouldn't be able to share in family love because no one knows if they will ever have an actual family...hog wash! Chris it is not an accident that you have been given care of these children!

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