Every parent has a target they are hoping their children hit. While it may never be simply expressed, it is consistently pursued.
What is your great hope for your children? What is your parenting target?
King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 4:30; 10:23). In all his wisdom, he wrote a great perspective for parents in Psalm 127.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate [Ps. 127:3-5].
Solomon equated children with arrows in the hands of a skilled archer. Why would he use this illustration?
A trained warrior understands that a sharpened arrow can go where he cannot.
An arrow isn’t ready to be released at first. It must be fashioned. It must be prepared. While some parents don’t see children as a blessing, it may be because they aren’t preparing their children for a useful task. A quiver full of sharpened arrows is extremely helpful but a bag full of dull sticks is extremely cumbersome.
Every arrow needs to be sharpened, aimed, and released.
What does that practically mean?
- Sharpened – Every child needs to be whittled into service. Some things need to be removed. Some needs to be crafted into form. They don’t come into the world ready for a task. Parents must prepare them.
- Aimed – Sharpening an arrow isn’t enough. The archer must aim it into a particular direction. Every parent is aiming somewhere. Are you aiming your child at a worthwhile target?
- Released – An arrow can be sharpened diligently and aimed perfectly but remain useless if it never leaves the bow. At some point, the archer must release the arrow for it to accomplish its purpose. Are you prepared to release the arrow to go further than you could ever go?