One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog
Posted in: Parenting
- Parenting and Spiritual Warfare
Guest Author: Brent Thomas| Share |
We are currently expecting our fourth boy. Lord willing, Eli Calvin will be here very soon. We are often overwhelmed by the weighty blessing that is raising children. This became all the more apparent for us the other night as we were watching television and came across a preview for a show called something like "True Dreams of a Soccer Mom" or something like that. I can't remember the actual name of the show, but the premise was that three women had "put their dreams on hold" to raise their families, but this television show was going to give them the chance to pursue what they really wanted in life. One was a fashion designer, one a police officer and I don't know what the other was.
I'm sure you can guess where I'm going with this. Our culture understands children to be an interruption. They might be a worthwhile interruption, but in the end, they're still an interruption to what your life is really about, to what you really want. This is entirely antithetical to the way the Bible presents children. Consider Psalm 127:
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
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.
The Psalm opens with a wonderful testimony to the balance between God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility. We must labor, but unless the Lord builds the house, we do so in vain. Then the Psalmist says something interesting, "It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil." How different this is from our "hard worker" mentality. Not that we shouldn't work hard, but sometimes, we just need to rest, trusting God. Isn't it the truth that sometimes God accomplishes more when we're asleep than when we're awake? But that's not the point I want to meditate upon.
In the second stanza, the Psalmist says that children are "a heritage from the LORD," and a "reward." He then compares children to arrows in the hands of a warrior. This imagery has always fascinated me. It implies first and foremost that we're in some sort of a battle. Paul puts this in perspective, saying in Ephesians 6:12 that
we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Paul says that, yes, we are in a battle, but it is not a physical battle. I wonder how many of us think of our children as weapons in the battle against the "cosmic powers of this present darkness?" The way many of us raise our children, not only do we not view them as arrows, we've handed them over to others to aim, not realizing that we might be the target...
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