Some people are childless by choice, but for those who would like to be parents, whether married or single, it is a bereavement. We grieve for the child we never had. We watch parents interacting with their children and see what we are missing. We listen to our friends talk about their children and now, at our age, their grandchildren, and we feel we have nothing to say. But being childless does not have to be less.
I have the privilege to work as a Youth and Children’s Minister for a small church. I influence many young lives (and families!) through my work. It’s a joy when I see children, teenagers and whole families get the gospel and live out a personal faith in the Lord Jesus. However, I do realise that, as a same-sex attracted person, It is likely I will never have the experience of parenting my own biological children...
In a well-functioning church married people should have a stake in the lives of singles and singles in the lives of the married. No two parents can be all things to their children – and there can be great benefit from a trusted other who is external and objective.
I was grumbling at my heavenly Father about the anticipated lack of touch, instead of expectantly asking for his generous provision of companionship. But here were friends from church, at the end of a phone line, asking if I would like to join them, several times a week, till… whenever. It has been God’s gracious provision for me, even when I was too moody to ask for it.
There is little comfort to those who cannot have children. Some married couples would have loved them, but infertility closes that door. For many TFT members who would have desired their own children, their call to singleness has also been a call to surrender this desire to God. So, can we look to the Bible for any encouragement?
How did a single, celibate, fifty-something Christian woman become an ally of those struggling with their sexuality and gender? By giving up on the truth of God’s Word? By discovering a convenient theology of liberal grace? Or by selling out to a worldly mantra of tolerance? Actually, it was none of these.