"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5
As a father of four children I know how precious children are. I am so thankful to have each one of them in my life. I vividly remember the birth of each child. They are truly amazing. Whether you have children of your own or not, God has given almost all of us opportunities to be an influence in the lives of children. As parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, etc. we are able to instruct and guide children through the obstacle course of life. We need to see this opportunity as both a responsibility and a privilege.
Our passage compares children to arrows in the hand of a warrior. That is a very interesting analogy that I would like you to consider for just a moment. In a day when everything is mass produced, maybe we don't understand what an arrow meant to a warrior. We can go down to the sporting goods section and buy arrows. There are plenty of choices in different price ranges. Before we can understand the comparison of a child to an arrow, we have to step back into history. Consider a few things: 1) Each arrow that a warrior had in his quiver was painstakingly hand-crafted. There was no where that he could buy them at random. He had put in time and effort to make that arrow just as it was. A couple of things come to mind when I think of that. First, every child is fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Yes, every child. God sees the value in each child, because He created that child with a special purpose. Second, we adults have the responsibility to hone that child to be all that they can be for God. We have been given the blessed privilege to nurture and instruct them in the ways of the Lord. 2) Because that warrior had hand-crafted that arrow, he would never just shoot it without making sure he knew where it was going. He also would if possible try to recover it after it was shot. Do you remember when Jonathan told David he needed to flee the kingdom? Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him. After he did that, he had a young boy with him to retrieve the arrows. We cannot waste our chances and opportunities to love our children and rear them. They are each precious and must be treated as such. We will have to point them in the right direction and send them off into this world. There are also times that we have to go get them out of love and give them more guidance. 3) A warrior with a quiver full of arrows was happy. Why? The more arrows you had the more opportunities there were. It seems in our society today that some adults want to avoid children all together. We need to see our young people as God-given blessings in which we get to have a part. The more children that you can influence for Christ the greater the blessing from God you have received. So, every adult should look at our teenagers, pre-teens, elementary students, toddlers, and infants as arrows that God has given us to point in the right direction.
May God use you to shape the life of a young person today!