Titus 2: “To Love Children ...”
Whether or not we actually give birth, women are called to nurture the new life around us in various ways. Before I became a Christian, I was not very interested in children. I assumed I might have children one day, but I was oblivious to the children around me and did not care to spend any time with them. This is one area where God has made a tremendous change in my life. Over the years, I have had rich relationships with many children. The Lord has also given me evangelism opportunities with children. I have even created an informal Veggie Tales club with about a half dozen young boys in my neighborhood. They would stop by for sodas and videos, and I would share the gospel and pray with them.
Even though I do not have children of my own, I have three nieces and one nephew in whom to invest. It takes planning to be involved in their lives, but it is worth it to cultivate those relationships. Because I have vicariously experienced the thrills and sacrifices of motherhood as I have helped my sisters over the years, I have a window into that aspect of femininity. Just as importantly though, through these times together, I have developed one-on-one friendships with these small relatives of mine that I hope will flourish through the changing seasons of life ahead of us. I want to be a relevant relative of theirs, not a distant aunt. That means declining vacation opportunities with my friends to spend my vacation with my far-away nieces. That means declining social events on weekends to babysit my nearby niece and nephew or taking a day off during summer to plan a special day of adventure with them. But that also means I am the beneficiary of funny voicemail messages, elaborately drawn pictures, special “treasures” wrapped in thick layers of tissue and tape, and excited hugs when I arrive at their front doors. Somehow, it does not seem one bit like sacrifice. Perhaps these things contributed to a recent decision by one of my sisters and her husband to name me as guardian for their two daughters should they die in a mutual accident. Despite my being single, they thought I would rear their girls as close as possible to their values. Words cannot express how much that act of trust encouraged me!