Carefully-Crafted Arrows

When I was a camp counselor the summer after my freshman year of college, there was an archery class. I did not teach it; in fact, I can't remember if I ever even hit the target when shooting with other counselors. Far more often when I took a shot, they ended up in the hay around and behind the targets. Let's pray I do better with some far more important "arrows" that have been entrusted to me.

Psalm 127:4 says, "as
arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are the children of the youth."

The first thing I notice is that these arrows are in the hands of a "mighty" man. Are you becoming more mighty in your devotion to the Lord, more mighty in your marriage, and more mighty as parents?

And particularly, in terms of child-rearing, how are you doing at crafting arrows? Are your arrows being refined more and more so they will hit the target (wounding the enemy, bringing glory to the King)?

In reading Rick Boyer's book, "Yes, They're All Ours", I've found it to be a collection of family stories rather than a commentary on parenting or raising children. However, I found a section elaborating on these verses that may challenge you as it has me.
"What are arrows? First of all, they're an offensive weapon. ... Scripture talks about several offensive weapons. There is the sword, for close combat. Then there is the spear, which can travel a certain distance or be used in close-up fighting as well. It's the arrow that has the longest range, along with a high degree of accuracy. This is the thing that comes to mind when I think of my children as arrows. I hold them in my hand for a while. I shelter them from the elements in my quiver. I make them myself and sharpen and straighten them. Then when the time comes to launch them, they are prepared to strike targets that are far beyond my own reach."

Those of you with no children, are you watching mighty arrow-crafters to learn what you'll need to know whether it's with your own children or helping care for & shape the children in your church and community?

Those of you with young children, are you generally making sure your arrows are straight? Are you aware of the fact that there will be a day of release? That your small, rough sticks of wood will one day be shot out, whether they're ready or not? Are you ensuring that the basic qualities that will make them straight-shooting and King-honoring are in place?

And to parents of older children and teenagers, are you spending your time shaping and refining? Are you trying to discern the target meant for each arrow in your quiver? Are you inquiring of the King where HE would have your children go and what HIS intentions for their use might be?

Boyer continues,
"Arrows are not guided missiles. Once they're launched there are no remote controls by which we can steer them. But if the archer is skillful, he will have his arrows in good condition and aim them properly, taking the windage into account and putting plenty of force behind them so they're harder to deflect."

Let's think more strategically, arming ourselves for the battle we're in (because we need to be mighty ones), assessing the changing wind and landscape of the culture around us, and preparing our little arrows for the targets that King Jesus wants them to hit.


CappuccinoLife said...

You always have such insightful posts!

As familiar as I am with the "arrows" passage, I'd never thought about it quite like that. But just looking over the last couple of days, I can see what effect our parenting has on the shaping and quality of our "arrows"!

the blackwells said...

Thanks for the great reminder that we need to be diligent in what we are "crafting".

Jennifer said...

Wonderful post! We need to remember what precious gifts God has given us, and especially how we need to take care of them.