Faith of a Father

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; – Hebrews 10:23


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Directing your Arrows

As we continue in our series of Psalm 127:3-5, I want to comment on two more parts of the arrow before we move on to the next topic of discussion for these verses.

The use of feathers or other materials on an arrow is for aerodynamic stability and is call fletching.  Without this stability, the arrow’s path will be less directed and therefore less likely to hit the intended target.  Each feather is referred to as a fletch.   Like the shaft, historically each fletch is made of natural products, in this case feathers, although now days synthetic feathers are often used.  Each feather or fletch can be attached with either a silk thread or some form of glue.  At the fletcher’s choosing, they may decide to put each fletch on the arrow at an angle to create a spin to assist in accuracy when shot.

Continuing with the analogy of our children as arrows, as the fletching helps to provide stability in flight and accuracy, so Biblical laws and principles provide to our children stability and accuracy in their lives.  An arrow can be shot without fletching or with one feather attached, but it’s accuracy is then forced.  And so it is with children, rules without principles bring forced obedience and likely rebellion.

I have seen over my many years how Christian parents often claim to understand the importance of God’s Word in the lives of their children and begin to set all kinds of rules for them to follow.  These parents often fail to understand the difference between two small prepositions, on and in and how this works out in the lives of their children.  Putting God’s Word onto someone’s life typically demands their compliance and is often viewed as a burden and rebellion will usually ensue.  But learning your child’s heart and then teaching and instilling God’s Word into their life encourages them to accept God’s Word for themselves and then it becomes their own values and own beliefs.  Learning the whys (principles) brings the arrow (child) balance.  Ephesians 6:1 talks about children obeying their parents, but verse 2 discusses honor.  The two must go together.  I believe that while compliance to rules can be forced, honor has to come from a belief in the heart.

Do you remember the story of the little boy that was told by the teacher to sit down?  As he was sitting he said to his teacher, “I’m sitting down on the outside but I’m still standing up on the inside.” He complied but his attitude was still sinful.  I’m reminded of a saying we have used in our home.  “Obedience without honor is disobedience.”

We have all heard the comment that character based on principles are who you are when no one else is watching.  Here’s my take on the difference between rules (laws) and principles:  “Rules (laws) are made to be obeyed, Principles are made to be lived by.”

How does all this relate to feathers on an arrow?  Like feathers being used to bring stability and accuracy to an arrow, the rules and principles that we as parents instill into our children very well may direct them the rest of their lives.  If we are not teaching our children God’s laws and His principles and only teach the law (rules), our children will not understand the whys and will take direction from the world in an attempt to provide stability to their life, therefore our children need to be grounded in the fully Truth of the Word of God.

Joshua 1:8  “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

Psalm 119:105 , “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

2 Timothy 3:16,17  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God might be throughly furnished unto all good works.”

 So how are we doing?  Are we providing Godly direction to our children’s lives?  Are we forcing obedience (law) without honor (principle)?  Are we giving them one feather and expecting them to follow rules without principles?  What can you and I do this week to improve our influence in the direction of our children’s lives?

I hope these posts have been a blessing to you, even in a small way.  Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

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How’s Your View?


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Psalm 127:3-5

3  “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.  4  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.  5  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.”  

I have been captivated by these passages for some time now.  As I have thought about them, there are many rabbit trails that could be taken but after hours of writing and deleting, I decided to keep my comments on these verses pretty simple.  Today, let’s focus on verse three.

 “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

The Bible tells us that our children are a heritage and a reward from the Lord.  As I think about the word heritage, I think of something that is passed from one generation to another.  At times this can refer to possessions that are past on and at other times is can be something more intangible such as a history or maybe character traits, values or beliefs.  But we should also think of the word heritage in the context of the future, the heritage that we are now building.  The greatest impact someone can have on the world is not what they leave for the next generation, but who they leave to the next generation.  Our legacy should not be based on things we leave behind, but who we leave behind when our life ends being raptured into heaven.

I am deeply troubled by that attitude that so many have for children these days.  We can look out into society and see lack of value placed on children, from legalizing abortions, to the poor educational system, from the way many discipline their children or the lack thereof.  Of course the list could go on and on. And while I am troubled with our nation in general with its view on children, I am also trouble with the view that we in the church take regarding our children.

We talk about how important our children are yet every chance we get, we send them off to worship, play and study with other people.  While some of this is not bad, in my view, based on my understanding of the Scriptures, these times should be the exception and controlled and not the norm for a family.

It is unfortunate, but even the church has fallen into the trap of “population control” and often going as far as telling God when and how many children WE are going to have.  How arrogant. Should we tell God how He should bless us? Many Christian parents won’t admit it, but often, out of selfishness and pride, we begin allow the world’s philosophy to affect our view of children and we begin to view them as an inconvenience instead of a blessing.

It is not my desire to suggest or tell people how many children I think couples should have, that is definitely between them and the Lord.  Nor will I, or should I judge anyone or imply that a certain number of children is godlier than another number. God’s plan for the Duggars is as different for them as it is for us, the Schnarrs, which again, His plan for us is much different than His plan for your family.  Regardless of “the number”, each child is a reward and a blessing from God, even the unexpected child, or the disabled or challenged child.  God has a plan and a purpose for each and every child conceived.  I know of couples who would give anything to have children but God has had another plan for their lives, and I have seen other families with numerous children yet have taken these gifts for granted.  The point I want to make today is, if children are a heritage and a reward from the Lord, how do we really view our children?  Do we point them in the right direction along the way, take them to Sunday School, drop them off at youth group, and just hope for the best?  Or do we contemplate on a regular basis the responsibility that God has given to us as parents and make corrections as needed?

I think most Christian parents that are continuously living in light of God’s Word would heartily agree and state children are a heritage and a reward from God.  But let me follow up with this topic, have you, have I, really sat down lately and contemplated the thought of who God has given to us to teach and shape, have we really contemplated the value He has placed on our children?  I know that for most, our intent is to view, act, and respond to our children in light if this verse, but I also know that the daily events of our lives and the pressures of this world so easily distract us from following through on our intent.

Far too often due to my pride, I have been more concerned about how my children look on my “display shelf” in the home or at church and how they are positioned in the world for all to see, than being concerned with how God wants to shape them for His glory.  It is too easy to get wrapped up in the day to day mechanics of parenting struggling to accomplish immediate needs that we have forgotten to take the time to step back and marvel at who God has given to us to parent.  Have we gotten too involved in routine tasks that we have failed to plan how we will shape the life or lives that God has given us?  God hasn’t given us children to parent haphazardly and then fling them into the world at a certain age, He has given us someone that, by His grace, and using us as their parents, can be shaped into something much more powerful for His purpose.  Are we taking the time to regularly regroup and view our children as God has intended us to view them?  Or are we getting caught up in the day to day mechanics of parenting and we need to press the reset button?