Children are like arrows
Psalm 127:4 states, "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man so are children of the youth".
"Mighty men" in the Old Testament is a description given to those engaged in warfare. As warriors
they utilized armor and weapons to fight the enemy. Each warrior was responsible to shape, sharpen, and hone the arrows in his quiver.
Psalm 127:4 tells us that children are like arrows. Arrows are designed to fly. The makers of arrows painstakingly design them to accurately fly straight and hit their target. Like arrows, God intended children to be released from our homes so they can have a spiritual impact on our world in the spiritual battle we fight. God intended for our children to fly straight and hit God's target. Unlike arrows, which are meant to kill the intended target; God intends our children to be like cupid's arrow, drawing the target to the love of God. From the time we bring them home from the hospital, those little arrows must be shaped, sharpened, and honed to carry out God's purpose - the redemption of mankind.
Psalm 127:3 states, ""Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD; and the fruit of the womb is His reward". In other words, our children are not ours. They belong to God. We are God's steward of that child. In other words, we are nannies. When we do not shape, sharpen, and hone them for God's intended purpose we are derelict of our responsibility.
Though our children were created in the image of God; because of Adam's sin they came into this world as deformed images of God. Only God can do the transforming reconstructive surgery that takes place at salvation; but He chooses to use godly parents to be involved in the process of being conformed into His image. The shaping, sharpening, and the honing are all a part of sanctification. As they are sanctified into God's image, they become a weapon in this warfare in which we fight.
Psalm 127:5 says, "Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." This pictures a mighty man who confidently stands at the gate of his enemies and speaks, because his quiver is full. He has a quiver full of ready arrows.
Of course, the context speaks of a man who has a quiver full of children. Children who have been shaped, sharpened, and honed for God's intended purpose are a weapon against the adversary, and cause the father not to be ashamed as he stands before the enemy. What a fool to stand before your enemy with a quiver full of bent and dull arrows.
We all understand that our ultimate enemy is Satan. His army is made up of demons who infiltrate the minds of men . He also uses people whose minds have been captured by the wiles of the devil.
They are not the enemy. They are slaves of the enemy. They may look like the enemy. They may act like the enemy. But unlike the true enemy, they are redeemable. They can be rescued.
Now, let me remind you that our children are like Cupid's arrows - designed to hit the heart and draw that apparent enemy to God. They can only hit the target, the heart; if they have been shaped and sharpened by the Word of God. They can only hit the target when they are taken out of the quiver and released from the bow.
Every archer worth his salt can tell you there is pain in launching an arrow. As the archer lets go, his left forearm can be painfully stung with the slap of the string. The same is true of a parent's heart. While the "arrow" is enjoying the flight he was made for, the heart of a parent feels the sting of the release. Releasing is also scary. Will they fly straight? Will they be blown off course? Will they fall short of God's intended destination for their lives? You'll never know if you don't release them. But they'll never grow up if you keep them safe in your quiver, away from the battlefield.
By the way, the arrow does not go into the battlefield alone. It is the mighty man who enters the battlefield with his quiver. It is the mighty man who stands at the gate of his enemies with a quiver full of shaped and sharpened arrows. If we are going to prepare our children to hit the target we must be mighty men. Mighty men are the ones who shape, sharpen, and hone their arrows, and can confidently stand before their enemies.
Striving to be a man