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)
This psalm paints a radical (to our culture) view of children. Children are likened to arrows in the hand of a warrior. They are his weapons against the enemy. In the society and culture of the psalmist, children provided security as they bolstered the influence and means of provision for the family. They took care of their aging parents. They also argued the cause of the righteous at the plac where policy decisions and judgments were made. In this way they also provided promise for the survival and advancement for the society as a whole. They were the future leaders, in other words.
But the imagery also points the importance of taking time to train the arrow in the direction it must take to strike the enemy. As parents, we must not miss the significance of this image with the time and intentionality we give toward the raising of our children. For if we do not aim them well, they will not protect us from the enemy nor be an asset at the gate. Our society, for the most part, has abandoned the role of parents aiming children at God’s cause and Kingdom. Unless we choose to be counter cultural in this regard, what should we expect for our future as families and a nation?
How does our culture support and how does it discourage this view of children?
Pray for the Lord to “build the house” as we seek to raise our children faithfully.
McCheyne’s reading plan: 2 Ch 19-20, Re 8, Zech 4, Ps 126-128