As a teacher and a children’s ministry volunteer, I get asked frequently, “so how many kids do you have?” People assume that because I work with children I must have my own. I used to get offended by this; now I just laugh. If I feel like starting the discussion, I tell them “I have close to 80 children.” Once the person catches on, he/she usually follows with, “I mean how many of them are yours.”
Here is where I really want to laugh. First, why does working with children mean I must have kids of my own? Does being single imply I don’t like children? Second, they are all mine. The students I teach and the kids at my church are “my kids.” Why does this seem strange to some people? Did I give birth to them? No. Do I love them, pray for them, disciple them, invest in their lives? Yes. And as a member of a PCA church, I took a vow to assist the parents in the raising of their children. They are my kids. I laugh when I hear them laugh; I miss them when they are gone; I cry when their family moves away; and I have great joy when they smile and hug me. I love them. These are my kids.
It’s not about biology. It’s about having a heart that loves to see the joy in their faces when they discover something new, a passion to see them grow in faith, and a prayer that they never lose the innocence to believe anything is possible.