I have always been hesitant in writing a post like this but I am writing it today to give encouragement to parents who are raising or helping to raise their relatives (cousins, nieces, nephews, or siblings). I have the privilege of helping raise my nephew and we have had our ups and downs but I am so grateful for this opportunity. He is my baby!!!! And I am committed to his care and well-being. However, often when I am unsure, unconfident, and need some advice sometimes I rarely find someone to turn to from a caregiver of a relative point of view and little advice on google. Nonetheless, the Holy Spirit reminds me of the One authority–God–on the subject that is full of knowledge on the very people He created, and His encouragement and wisdom are supreme, refreshing, and consistent.
Another thing I have noticed is that some people will not understand your unorthodox family. Some will be curious about your little one’s story but I had to learn that your story isn’t meant for everyone’s ears. I remember reading in a bible plan that was about foster parenting/caregiving and so forth that you have to protect the child’s story. And sometimes there are layers to his/her story or it may not be what people want to hear. It may be something complex or not as complex to explain. Whatever it is, it is still none of their business. So, stop explaining to people. And all they need to know is that what is being done is for the child’s best interest.
So, when you feel discouraged or having a setback, God’s love and Word is life-giving and it propels you forward in the unknown and every circumstance. His mercy and grace reminds you that you don’t have to be a perfect parent. His grace and mercy give you the fuel to press in loving and instructing this child into receiving God’s love, seeking God, and discovering his/her destiny. Moreover, be present and enjoy this season or seasons where you get to watch your little ones blossom from the love of God. Mordecai raised his cousin, Esther, and he even prepared her for a destiny that involved helping save God’s people (Esther 2). So what can we learn from Mordecai?
✴Raise them with the authority and confidence of our Savior.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
✴Raise them up in the Lord. Teach them God’s Word and love.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
✴Trust them and their future in the hands of God.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Lastly, be encouraged and don’t give up. You are on a God-given assignment.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:1
Are you raising a relative? What encouragement would you give another caregiver?