My Fistful of Arrows
I’m reading a book right now that is getting me to think differently about some of the ways that Hubby and I parent. The name of the book is Loving Our Kids On Purpose by Danny Silk. If you have little people in your life, I recommend reading it.
As I said, it’s getting me to think about better ways parent my lovely kiddos and to empower them more in our relationship. This morning I asked myself the question, “What does God say about kiddos anyway? What do I know about His plan for families and children?” Almost immediately Psalm 127 jumped into my mind.
This is what it says-
“Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.” (vs. 3-5)
So God says children are like–
- a generous legacy
- a fistful of arrows
Hmmm, I don’t see–
- efficiency busters
One translation that I read translated vs. 5 to say that a man (or probably a woman, too ) with his quiver full of children “is joyful and won’t be ashamed.”
“Arrows in the hands of a mighty man” or “vigorous warrior” is what was hitting me in the face this morning.
How does a mighty man or warrior conduct his life? What attributes characterize his life?
I think of a warrior as being self-disciplined, pushing the limits of what his comfort zone is, sacrificing his own comfort and desires for the people he’s working with and protecting. Someone who is trustworthy, dependable, full of integrity, and bringing security to those around him because of who he is, how he treats others, and the way he conducts his life. He brings stability; he manages himself.
What about a warrior who isn’t mighty?
He’s influenced by any inconvenience or difficult circumstance that is uncomfortable for him. He’s more concerned about his own comfort than the safety and comfort of the ones he’s responsible for. He’s undisciplined in his personal life. Rather than doing all he can, he tries to get by with as little involvement as possible.
And his arrows? Because he’s irresponsible and undisciplined, his own arrows can be taken and used to attack and cripple him.
The arrows. They are meant to be a blessing and to help protect. But the arrows are only as good as the warrior.
They will do one of 3 things.
1. They will help the warrior.
2. They will hurt the warrior.
3. They will bend, break, and become useless.
What the arrows do depends on how the warrior manages himself and how he treats and handles the arrows.
The inconvenient fact is our children’s responses to us and any frustration we feel with them isn’t always so much about them as it is about US, the WARRIORS they were given to.
How would our homes change if we extended grace to our gifts, our legacies, our arrows when they create a mess by accident OR by their choice?
What if we took even 3 seconds to breathe before reacting and then respond instead with love?
What if they wouldn’t need to defend themselves to us when they messed up? Is there any chance they could better acknowledge their mess and clean it up, and then, next time they are confronted with a similar situation, remember what they learned last time?
I learned recently in a podcast I listened to that every decision I make or motive I have can be traced back to either love or fear. (Sometime when you’re feeling brave, analyze the decisions you’re making and break your reasoning down until you’re left with either love or fear. My analyzing isn’t always pretty when I’m brave.)
I’m sure we’ve all seen people make decisions that make no sense at all because of fear, whether rational or irrational. When we live in fear of something, it influences the way we make decisions. Could the way we respond to our children influence the way they make choices?
1 Corinthians 13:8 tells us that love never fails. Is it possible that if we respond to our children with love, dignity, and respect instead of with frustration or anger they might respond back to us with love, dignity, and respect?
The arrows are only as good as the warrior.
What kind of warrior are you? Are you mighty or not so much?
How can we shift the normal of our homes this week? How can we aim our arrows better so they go further, higher, faster than we’ve been aiming them?
Photo credits go to DG Photography