By Mack Brock
It’s where we learn to walk and talk, where we learn to laugh and play, and where we learn to worship and pray.
It’s amazing to think that all human beings were brought into the world through a relationship with their mother. They did not exist without her, and they relied solely on her to provide for them in her womb. Outside of the womb, we look to our family, the relationships closest to us, to teach us everything we need to know about the world— whether it’s a good or bad place, whether we are safe or not, and what the purpose of our lives are. Some answers to these questions are taught intentionally, while others are “caught” by watching what others do.
Like most parents, my wife and I try to be intentional with what we teach our kids. We want them to authentically love Jesus, love their neighbors and love the church. We want to teach them how to worship. But what does that look like outside of family prayers and going to church on Sunday morning? Especially during a global pandemic, when even Sunday morning church looks different for everyone.
For us this meant becoming a foster family.
Making the decision to become a foster family wasn’t one we made lightly. We prayed, we fasted, we went through months of training, we talked with our kids and other foster families, and when we knew it was the Lord, and nothing else, we climbed the mountain of paperwork that’s required and received our foster license. And few months after that we received our first foster placement. He is 7 months old and has opened up our hearts to a whole new world.
Every day we wake up and love that little boy so much. We provide for him, we play with him, and we are doing our best to help nurture him into whom God designed him to be, all with the impending knowledge that one day he will leave us. His parents will be ready to care for him again, and we will hand him back to them. As much as the thought of giving him back stings and makes us want to withhold our love from him because we don’t want to get hurt, we continue to fight to open our hearts wide. We believe that when the day comes to deliver him back into the arms of his biological family, the love he experienced in our home will have changed him and us, forever. Impending heartbreak is not easy, but loving without abandon is worth it because we can stand confident that the Lord will give us the grace to walk through the heartache.
Being foster parents is showing us so much about the Father’s love for us. We came to God with nothing, and He loves us with no promise of receiving love in return. He provides for us and nurtures us. He makes Himself so vulnerable to rejection, but never stops opening His heart to love us with absolute abandon.
So what does this have to do with worship?
We learn to worship within our families. Our children see us do it Monday through Saturday, not just on Sunday. Worship is in washing the laundry and mowing the grass. It is in pouring one more cup of coffee so you can stay up late to talk with your friend, and it is in opening your Bible in the early hours when no one sees you. Worship is caught, not just taught, and it starts in our homes. May our children learn to worship well.