“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5
Our children are compared to arrows in Psalm 127. The writer, David, was a skilled archer. When he used this comparison, he was making reference to something that would be easily understood by the culture in which he was writing. We often look at this passage poetically, and tend to overlook the impact these words should have on our hearts.
First of all, each of the arrows David used had to be hand crafted with precision in order for them to be effective. The arrow must be sharpened in order to be effective. A poorly fashioned arrow will not hit the mark, and a dull arrow will not be effective even if it is aimed in the right direction. I believe we are living in a generation where it is more critical than ever that we as parents are sharpening and aiming the arrows in our quiver in the right direction and with accuracy.
David states that children are “like arrows in the hands of a warrior”. A warrior knows the power of the weapon in his hand. A warrior trains in order to be precise in his action. There is nothing random or haphazard about how a warrior wields his bow. An archer’s goal is to hit the target; and not just to hit the target, but to hit an even more precise point, the bull’s eye. The arrow does not go anywhere without the skilled warrior taking aim and directing its course.
God has placed in your hands children. He has trusted you with them, and he wants you to take your role seriously. He created each one of your children for a specific purpose, to have a specific impact on the world with their lives. It is our role as parents to seek the Lord for understanding regarding the call that is on each of our children’s lives, and to train them up to be fully equipped to walk in that call. It is an awesome, and sometimes overwhelming task.
I remember when I held my first child. The excitement of being a mother for the first time was overwhelming. And I knew very little about what I was walking into. It was all about feeding and changing diapers, and carrying for the physical needs of my son. I gave very little thought at the time to what was ahead in my role of raising this little boy to be a man of God. My eyes were very quickly awakened to the critical nature of my role as parent to this young one Not to far down the road into parenting, the emotional needs of my son were added to my list of priorities- is he happy? Is he having fun today? Why does he seem sad? And finally one day, they ask a question and you wake up to the fact that this is child needs to have a relationship with God, and it is your task as a parent to help them walk into that relationship. And presto, the task of parenting intensifies!
Every parent has heard the scripture commanding us to “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”. Unfortunately that scripture has become one of those that we think we know and almost take for granted. Do we really look at the intensity of that call, the urgency of that command and take it seriously? If we are taking it seriously, we should be asking God this question for each of our children’s lives: “What is the way that he should go?”
To be continued….