Psalm 127:3-5, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of arrows”.
The goal of every parent is to steward the arrows that the Father in heaven has given them. There is a battle for our children's hearts. We need to fight for their affections. The enemy is after what they will love and where their affections will be placed. This is why parents are called warriors! We are in a battle.
There are 4 parts to every arrow.
This is the final blogpost in this series about the arrow. The 4th part of the arrow is the arrowhead (the point).
Only the front end of the shaft needs a finishing touch~ a point. And that point or arrowhead is directed at a target. This speaks to the need to have a reason to live, a driving passion or calling that provides meaning and impact. Where is your child headed? In which direction is he/she pointing? What is his/her calling or mission to be? How will your child derive meaning and impact in this life? Proverbs 29:18 tells us, “Without vision, the people cast off restraint”. When one does not have a target or vision, life can be directionless, unrestrained and aimless.
How can you help your child be aimed at the correct target? The arrow, your child, is held in the bow by the archer. Mom and dad, you are the archer. No one has the influence over a child’s heart like a parent. You are the greatest influencer and guide in his/her life. Something I have learned about archery is that the archer must be strong physically and even stronger mentally to overcome any pressure when releasing the arrow. The archer firmly, yet loosely holds the arrow onto the bow string usually with 3 fingertips or with the use of a release aid. If using a release aid, it attaches to the wrist and the bow string. The trigger of the release will sit in the archer’s hand until he is ready to release so there isn’t an accidental release of the arrow. What a position you have in your child’s life. You are positioning your arrow into place, guiding your arrow until he/she is ready to be launched to his/her target.
Here are three ways to impact your child to the correct target:
1) Plant yourself in the secret place of prayer to hear from the Lord regarding each of your children. John 15:7 tells us, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.” The word “words” in this verse is the Greek word Rhema, which means “that which is or has been uttered by the living voice”. The words of Jesus include what He has said in the Word of God and what He is saying as you hear from Him in the secret place. The word “abide” means “to be held; kept, continually”. Parents it is imperative that you hear what Jesus is saying about your child. Pray and ask Him what He says about your children. What is His desire for their future? Their calling? How does He see them? You may hear a Scripture or you may see a picture or see a word in your mind’s eye. Write whatever you hear down and let that word abide in your heart and carry that word in your prayer life. Let your language line up with Jesus’ language about your child.
When my children were babies, I would pray for them when I nursed them, changed diapers, or snuggled them. I asked the Father what He wanted for each of them. How did He see them impacting the world? He gave me specific things for each of my children and He did it in a unique way with each of them. I held those words and continue to pray them over my children. The last portion of John 15:7 says that when Jesus’ words abide in us, we can ask with confidence knowing what we ask He will do because He is the One who spoke it in the first place! In the lives of my children, I am beginning to see with my physical eyes now those things that I first saw in my spiritual eyes years ago because of the words Jesus spoke about my kids.
2) Be intentional about the culture you are creating in your home. Over the course of my life, I have observed the repetition of culture from one generation to the next, good or bad, unless there is an interruption to the cycle that causes a change. What is the culture climate in your environment? Is there anything you want to add, change or remove from it? Your family line may carry something in the spirit that is an inheritance meant to steward and to build upon. In my family, the culture my parents created in our home was that the Word of God was the foundation for all we did. They loved the Word of God and that became an inheritance for me. As an “arrow”, my parents placed me on the bow string pointed to the target to love God’s Word and His living voice. What is the target your “arrow” is pointing toward? Is there an inheritance you need to steward in the culture of your home? Or is there something in the spirit you want to deposit in the culture of your home that will become an inheritance to the next generation?
3) Surround your children with spiritual fathers and mothers. Your life is meant to sit in the context of community. Your children need other mothers and fathers in their lives that they can connect with. There may be times and seasons in your child’s life when he/she will not want to share deep, personal issues with mom or dad. It is at this critical time in their life when a spiritual father or mother will be able to step in and offer insight, wisdom, grace, courage, and strength. Paul spoke to the Corinthian church, “For you may have countless instructors in Christ, but you don’t have many fathers...” I Corinthians 4:15. A father or mother is invested in relationship and will be in a life for the duration. Invite those in your community to speak into your child’s heart and to make themselves available. David wrote in Psalm 101:6, “My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me”. Declare this Scripture over your child.
For an archer, the moment of truth comes when he releases his arrow. As a parent, we have many opportunities over the course of our son or daughter’s young life to little releases: first time he/she has a play date at a friend’s house; attends school; rides a bike around the block; sleep over; goes to a movie or the mall. These are all the practice releases before the big launch! And at every release, as mom or dad, you can make the tweaks that are needed to change the trajectory of the final release of the arrow, so it hits the target!