Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Psalm 127:4--Parents as Warriors

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth. -Psalm 127:4

In the last post, we looked at the imagery of arrows--how children need to be shaped and sharpened just like raw pieces of wood. In this post, I want us to think about why Solomon might have used "warrior" imagery to describe parents. The two go hand-in-hand.

From the beginning, God intended for parents to train their children and send them out into the world to subdue it and to honor Him. In Genesis 1:28, God told Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Adam and Eve could never have filled the earth or had their descendants have dominion over the earth if they did not intentionally raise their children to be sent out as responsible men and women.

Soon after this command came the Fall of mankind. The world became a hostile, broken, hurtful place. People from then on were sinful and self-seeking. And this has not changed. So how has this impacted parents? At times, we are tempted to shelter our children (because we fear what might happen out there in the world). Our fears might be somewhat legitimate, but we are forgetting that God calls still calls us to send our children out as husbands, fathers, wives, and mothers of their own. So we must remind ourselves from the very beginning of our children's lives that they are to go out into the world.

And this world is hostile to God. The world, in some sense, is ruled by Satan. It is dark and rebellious. And we were once under his rule. But God in His grace has sent a Savior, Jesus Christ. He suffered on the cross in the place of us sinners and offers forgiveness and new life to those who repent and trust in Him. He has started a new kingdom! And if we are His followers, we are part of that kingdom....Meaning, that we have a great enemy in this world whose kingdom is strong. This is why the New Testament writers speak often about spiritual warfare and the battle we are engaged in.

Solomon's comparison of parents to warriors fits this reality. If we want to be used by God to fight against the powers of darkness, our children are a powerful "weapon." If children are taught to love and honor Christ and they are sharpened and straightened into God-fearing responsible adults, their combined influence in the spiritual warfare that is taking place will far exceed what we are capable of on our own. They will further what God has begun in us. They will take the gospel to their own families and to those they come in contact with at work and in their community.

So let's remember today that we are warriors in the great spiritual war that is going on--the one that Jesus ultimately emerges victorious in. And one of our most strategic and precious weapons against the enemy is our children who love our Savior.

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