Motherhood 101 - Children Are A Gift

Welcome back to our series on Motherhood.  We began last week talking about how to love our children, this week we will dive into seeing our  children as a gift.  Let's face it... we all have days where our little blessings do not seem as "gifts from the Lord", in fact, they seem as if they are a test.

"Stop hitting me".
"He looked at me weird".
"Mom, Susie is coloring on your quilt."
"Tim, stop spitting your food out on the floor."
"Mom, I'm sorry but the pee just came rushing out and it is now all over the floor in the bathroom."
"Mom, let me tell you this joke..." as I am talking on the phone.

It can be hard when we are in the moment to see these mini me's as "gifts" but truly they are.
she is love by demandaj, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  demandaj 

                               Psalm 127:3-5
English Standard Version (ESV)
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.

These verses are so powerful.  For those of us who have had friends who are barren we can resonate with verse 3... the fruit of the womb is a reward.  I thank God that He has allowed me to bring forth children for I see the grieving hearts that are not able to do so. However, the fruit of the womb is a blessing no matter who is the bearer of the children. so many couples have found great joy in adoption.  Children help complete us  so many couples desire a family, they feel empty/lacking without little ones to raise up and love.  Do not take the gift from your womb for granted.

Arrows by ruth1066, on Flickr
Verse 4 compares our children to arrows... they serve a purpose and that purpose is important.  What warrior wants to be without his arrows, his protection, his strength. A bow without arrows is useless. When in battle, a man will want a quiver full of arrows so he can withstand and endure, and will not be found helpless in the midst of the fight. The more arrows you have, the longer you can stay in the battle.

The bow and arrow revolutionized the way battles were fought because now men could fight/ impact the battle, from great distances.  We will be sending our arrows out into the world and impacting the world in ways that we could not do ourselves.  

We are fighting a spiritual battle daily... and so are our children, which, I think, is why there is a reference here of the father as the warrior sending his children (the arrows) out into battle. Are you equipping your arrows, sharpening them, training them about the enemy and preparing them for what lies ahead?  
 When a warrior shoots his arrow, he is aiming at a specific target.  There is a purpose for each arrow in our quiver (our home), we need to make sure, as parents, that we are aiming our children towards the right goals, towards Godly purposes and preparing them to"fight the good fight of the Lord".  

Arrows are made to fly, not stay in the quiver.  They are made for a specific purpose (each may be a bit different from each other, one may be for piercing birds, another for large game, and another for target practice, but they are each made to leave the quiver).  Our job is to sharpen the arrows God has given us, to take good care of them, and prepare them for their purpose, which is to make an impact on our world for Christ.  

The second part of verse 5 states that a father surrounded by his grown children will not be put to shame when he goes to the gate to speak to his enemies.  In Biblical times important affairs were settled in the public arena outside the city gates (trading/buying/selling/ settling arguments). 
 "a man who comes to the gate surrounded by an escort of strong, healthy sons cannot be treated in a humiliating way; he will be respected and not put to shame. His enemies know that he does not stand alone, but is served in his battle by his own children!" ( from Arrows in a Warrior's Hand)

Children are indeed a blessing and a gift, they bless us in ways that we cannot fully appreciate and see this side of heaven.  They stretch us and grow us, they teach us how to be better people, they bring us laughter and joy, they bring a contentment that no other person can... let us not take them for granted today.  I leave you with these words from Alan Smith:  

" Life is too short to make random shots into the air. Time doesn’t allow for the kind of thinking that says, “I shot an arrow into the air; it fell to earth I know not where.” Those God-given arrows of yours are too precious to waste. ... May God grant those of us who are blessed to be fathers and mothers, the strength to draw our bows to the full and the wisdom to release our arrows with practiced skill. May we make every arrow count." (From Alan Smith's sermon, Arrows in the Hands of a Warrior)