Investing in the Next Generation Today

If you are a woman, whether you are married or single and whether or not you have physical children, there is a maternal spirit within your very nature. That maternal spirit has been given you by God Himself and is an essential part of His plan for reproducing His heart in the next generation.

- Dorothy Kelley Patterson, p.153, Becoming God’s True Woman, edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

God knew I’d be single for most of my twenties at least.  Why did He make me a motherly woman and give me a desire to be a mother — to be a bearer and nurturer of life — now? Perhaps the answer is that the desire to be a mother is one of the most natural desires a woman can have. God doesn’t make mistakes and He must have a plan for the desire — a plan for even the most motherly of single women. Perhaps the plan is bigger than we dream!

“Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child;
Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed;
For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous
Than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord.

(Isaiah 54:1)

The pain of a single woman longing for children is different from the pain of a married woman longing for children. They share, however, a longing for children. A desire for motherhood. A vision for nurturing the hearts of the next generation. And perhaps, while we wait for some children of our own, we can share a passion for spiritually mothering the children in our lives today, too. Maybe our longing for children won’t be fulfilled by spending time with other people’s children. But perhaps our longing can inspire and motivate us — when the pain of waiting might otherwise discourage us — to love and give to and spend time with the next generation now.

graphic design by Chantel Brankshire

Investing in the children in our families and friends’ families.

Brothers and sisters. Nieces and nephews. Cousins. Pray for them and their families. Pin their pictures on your wall and know their faces. Spend time with them — playing games and reading stories. Be a fun person to play with and a safe person to share secrets and tell stories to. Listen to their words and their hearts. Accept their presents. And give them presents too!

Invest in the lives of the children or the teenagers in our spiritual families.

Get involved in the children’s or teenager’s ministry in your local church. Perhaps you can lead (or help to lead) a class for little children or a study for older girls. Pray for them and their families. Be accessible. Be fun. And be godly, too! Let them see the love of God in your eyes and the fruit of the spirit in your life and want to be like you someday.

Invest in the lives of teenage girls and young women.

So many of them long for mentors — and, even, for mothers. Be a “big sister” to a young girl you know. Write letters. Share Scriptures. Pray for her and encourage her in her faith or her search for faith. Model godly, passionate womanhood for her in an accessible, vulnerable way. Let her know that you care for her and want her to be the woman God has created and called her to be.

Do you have any ideas and suggestions for investing in the lives of the next generation?  Here are a few resources:

Elisabeth Allen
A scribbler from England who loves God and people, life and beauty ... and hope! What's better than hope - wonderful as it is! - is discovering and sharing it with others in words and pictures.
Elisabeth Allen

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conversations between sisters in Christ

  1. says

    Thanks so much for the shout out for More to Be and the mentoring resources we offer. Love hearing your heart for mentoring and investing in the next generation, too!

  2. says

    Thanks for your encouraging words! I am a twenty something, too, and have struggled with how I can live out that “motherly” desire now. I will share this with several other single ladies I know.

  3. says

    How very true. Wonderful post. Growing up I had no aunts, only uncles (who were not married) I have the most wonderful memories of them spending all their free time with us, loving and nurturing us.

    • says

      When I was tiny, most of my uncles and aunts were still young and they were like big brothers and sisters, it was wonderful! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to invest in their children’s lives now. I have such happy uncle and aunt memories! :)

  4. Hannah says

    Wow, this is a really great post-exactly what I needed. In the last 18 months I’ve been making a speacial effort to spend time with my cousins. They’re adorable and I love encouraging them!

  5. says

    Thanks Elisabeth! This is so important! :) I want this sentence to be my mission statement : Model godly, passionate womanhood for her in an accessible, vulnerable way.

  6. says

    One thing I might add to the first point (“Investing in the children in our families and friends’ families”)is — my aunt is a woman who loves children, is single (she’s in her 30′s), and loves giving gifts. I can remember that we children always looked forward to when she was coming over, because she rarely didn’t come with a present for us. Most often, it was simply a piece of candy or gum, but her gift showed that we were each special to her. She took time to be with us (the few times she could come), and for that I’ll always have fond memories of her. Even when we were half-way around the world from her, she sent us a bag of candies!

    The point I’m trying to make is, that is one kind of gift you can give your nieces and nephews — a small gift to show that you love them, and warm friendship. They’ll always remember you for the things you did to them, whether good or bad.

    God Bless,
    Esther

    • says

      It’s so special to be blessed by that sort of generous love. I have a couple of very small cousins who are rather confused about whether I’m a cousin or an aunt and I try to give them the sort of individual attention and generous friendship you describe. Thank you so much for sharing! :)