Ensure Your Arrows Will Fly Straight

Men, did you know that you are warriors and your children are like arrows in your hand?

Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,

offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.

ImageIn Psalm 127 we read that our Children are from the lord, a reward, a blessing.  But not only that, they are like arrows in the hands of a warrior… as I sat meditating on this Psalm, I began to think about what a warrior does with his arrows. I thought about picking my target and firing an arrow at it.  But then I thought how exactly do I fire a child at a target?  Don’t they choose what they will do in life as adults? I wondered, “What does it mean that children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior?”  Am I a warrior?  Are my kids some secret deadly weapons?  Am I supposed to turn them into some sort of tiny cute ninjas?  … my mind wanders sometimes 🙂

Anyway – back on topic – so before a warrior can shoot that arrow at the target he has to make sure that the arrow is ready to be released from the bow. How does a warrior do that?  How can a warrior be sure that his arrows are ready to be released, that they will hit the intended target?

First he must craft the arrow. There is a painstaking process to crafting an arrow. A Warrior has to first make sure the shaft is straight and strong. Long before battle, he will ensure that each arrow is painstakingly crafted to be perfectly straight.  If the shaft is crooked, it will not hit the target. I will make sure my children are like straight shafts – I will discipline them in love. I will ensure that they are on the straight and narrow path by meticulously crafting in them the discipline they will need, I will teach them right from wrong.  I will teach them to obey God’s Law and the laws of the land. I will be persistent and consistent in loving discipline.

Next the warrior will attach the fletching to the shaft.  The fletching guides the arrow, and enables it to fly true.  As discipline will enable my children to be like straight shafts, the fletching is their morals and values, which will allow them to fly true. I will teach my children to have godly morals and values by living what I teach and preach.  I will ensure that they are surrounded by good friends and family, I will ensure the music, TV, video games and entertainment they partake of is morally upright.  I will be a positive example of good morals and of godly character.  I will fight against my own sins and temptations, by the blood and spirit, to break the cycle of sin passed on through the generations.  I will not condone of violence, foul language, course joking, or immorality in my home. I will do what I can to instill in them the right morals and values so that when they are released, they will fly true.

Next the Warrior must forge an arrowhead from raw ore.  Painstakingly refining the raw material and sharpening it to a point.  If the arrowhead is not pure and sharp, but is dull and impure, it will not be able to penetrate the target as intended.  I will make sure that my children’s spirits and minds are sharpened on the Word of God and in their studies; I will ensure that they memorize scripture; I will ensure that they do their homework, and that they understand what they have learned.  I will teach them that reading and studying will expand their minds.  I will train them to avoid those things which will dull their minds, such as drugs, alcohol and over indulgence in entertainment.  By ensuring that their minds and spirits are sharp, I will enable them to penetrate the target.

When the arrow is assembled the warrior must go to battle.  In battle he will draw his arrow and aim at the target.  He will not aim at just anything, but a specific target. I will aim my children at the targets that matter most in life.  I will teach them about Loving God and their neighbour.  I will teach them to value the body of believers, to care for the needy and the lost. I will do my best to instill in them a heart for others, for sharing, for respect for authority, for standing up for the oppressed.  I will teach them to work hard at the vocation the Lord grants them, be it the noble profession of wife and mother, or of student in their studies in post-secondary education, or in the workplace. I will aim them at what matters.

Once the warrior has his target chosen, he will wait until just the right time, until just enough tension is built up between the bow and twine, until his target within range, then with prayer he will release the arrow at his target.  If he spent enough time on the arrow, if the shaft is straight, if the arrowhead is sharp, if the fletching is right, if the warrior spent time practicing and honing his own skills, the arrow will fly true and with the guiding hand of the LORD it will hit the target.  I will ensure that my children are prepared, that they are ready to be released from the bow.  Above all I will pray that God will grant me the skill and wisdom needed to craft an arrow that will hit the target – because unless the lord builds the house it’s labourer’s labour in vain.

Consider your arrows, and how they are being crafted.

Here are my arrows.


This picture is taken by my talented sister in law Andrea.

Check out her website  http://www.andreadevisser.com/

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  1. jelillie says:

    Loved this! So true if we spend time “Raising our children in the way that they should go when they are old they will not depart from it!”

  2. cecile says:

    Well written…however, we must never forget that when our children walk in the fear of the Lord that it is all God’s grace. We certainly can’t congratulate ourselves if our children walk with the Lord but can only humbly thank and praise HIM. When people ‘congratulate’ parents after their children profess their faith, it makes me uneasy really….it’s not about us but about HIM.

    • Thanks for the comment Cecile. I avoid congratulating the parents at profession of faith or baptism as if they did a good job! I definitely agree with you that it is all God’s grace. We are called and obliged to raise our children in the fear of the Lord, and if we are able to do so this also is simply by the grace of God. Our Gracious Father has also promised that if we raise up our children to walk in His ways that they will not depart from it. Yes this is from God, and has nothing to do with man. I am not taking anything away from the the sovereignty or the design of God, however, far too often we fall into the trap of “cheap” grace and stumble into a lukewarm orthodoxy where we neglect our covenant obligations. We let the schools teach our kids about Jesus and his sacrifice and we neglect our own duty. I affirm that it is the solely the LORD who builds the house and I would certainly never congratulate myself if my kids walk in the fear of the Lord. However on the other hand, if I neglect my duties, if I do not teach them these things, if I am lazy and negligent in my discipline – then I am definitely to blame. That is why I focused this post on our role as parents under the guidance of the Lord. 🙂

  3. brenda says:

    Love this post!! such a great reminder for us as parents! your post are so encouraging. thanks so much ryan!

    • Thanks for the comment Brenda. Let us all lean on Him and ask for His guidance and the wisdom to raise up our kids in the fear of the LORD! Give Him the praise! 🙂