Becoming a host dad taught me the true meaning of love

Bible open to a verse, "For God so loved the world"

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Despite other volunteer work, Dan Oberski shares how his experience as a host dad expanded for him what it truly means to love your neighbor.


By Dan Oberski

I never knew what Jesus meant, truly meant, when he said that we are to love him and love others. My only experience was to love people who didn’t need me to love them. You see, my circle is full of friends, family and stable worlds—support systems and generous hearts that played a massive role in my life.

This position I was in wasn’t even something that I understood until I came in contact with Better Together (then, Safe Families) and met our placed child’s family. In a total contrast to our world, they truly had nothing. No material support, physical support, relational support, spiritual support, educational support, nothing. Every place they turned was fraught with disaster. They were broken. Meanwhile, I knew only homelessness from the serving side of a soup kitchen.

And into my family this little boy came, breaking our hearts for his heart and longing to see him unite again with his mom and dad—the place it was obvious he was loved.

And in came a dad, more a man who had a child with no concept of what fatherhood meant or what love was when extended to him. He is a man who loves more completely than I could pretend to. He was given less than nothing and from it has made a decision to stay in a situation that almost all who sit in his shoes would flee from.

I talk to Jason almost every other day. I am the closest thing he has to an advisor, friend and support. He barely knows how to respond to me as to why I stay engaged with him.

This man and this story are not unique and this…. this is love. To love someone who has nothing to give in return, that will drain all of me, why, so that I must rest in His love and so that I will be refilled overflowing, and that as my love drains, He fills and expands my cup so that I can become all that He has called me to be.

There is nothing more direct that I can see in His word but to love him and love others. And he will fill you up overflowing and beautifully.

Posted June 13, 2022

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