This past Sunday, one of the first things that happened in the service was a Baby Dedication. The four children who were being presented and dedicated by their parents were so adorable – some willing to be held by the Pastor, and some only content in their parents’ arms. The pastor read this verse:
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.
Psalm 127:3-5 (ESV)
What an analogy – children to arrows!
First, a newly made arrow is flexible. The skilled archer can bend it and launch it in any direction. So too are parents called to shape and direct the lives of their children. And arrows are made to be useful – not to be hidden away or kept in a display box. In the same way, we as parents should seek to discover where our children’s talents lie so that we can help equip and empower them as we send them out into the world.
This analogy has stuck with me throughout the week and I continue to ponder it even now. How does this word apply to me – even when I don’t have a little tiny baby Well one thing I know I can do is to begin to think about some of the skills our children will need as adults and create opportunities for the practice of them now: things like managing money, keeping track of belongings and knowing how to clean a house.
Another thing that the Lord has pressed on my heart is practicing prayer. Sometimes, as adults prayer is such an intensely personal and private thing. And of course it is – this is where you are meeting the living Christ. At the same time, we need to be transparent and share some of our prayer lives with our children and teens so that they can learn this as well.
What are some other ways you are shaping your arrows, your children?