“Lord fill my quiver!” – Psalm 127:3-5
“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.”
You can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats children. In the Old Testament while the pagans sacrificed their children to pagan gods, the Jews taught their children these words: “Hear, O Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). They took God seriously when he said to impress these truths upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (vv. 7-9).
Our children are gifts from God. We should treasure them and not take them for granted. Jesus declared that “whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me” (Mathew 18:5). Then he offered this solemn warning, “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea“ (Matthew 18:6). Because Jesus loves children, those who harm children will answer to him.
There is no joy in life that can equal the pleasure of seeing your own children grow up (except for grandchildren). So much like you, made in your image, a miniature of you, yet so very different. They walk like you, they talk like you, they laugh like you, and yet they definitely have a mind of their own. You love them, you get angry with them, you discipline them. You try to spare them harm by teaching them the dangers in life, but sometimes they learn the hard way. No one can be said to have lived in vain who leaves behind children who love the Lord and follow in his steps.
Children bring God’s love to us. When you look into the face of your child, or if you are really blessed a grandchild, you will know that only God could have done this. Your doubts will vanish like the morning mist in summertime. Time and eternity meet in the heart of a child. Each one comes bearing the fingerprint of God.
An arrow is small but powerful. Like arrows that are shot into the future, think what our children can do. An arrow must be sharpened well; so must we shape our children. An arrow can travel far. Who knows how far our children will go? An arrow must be aimed in order to hit the target. What are kind of future are you aiming at?
Archers spend countless hours preparing their arrows. They carefully choose the right piece of wood, cut it precisely to size, then spend hours polishing, shaping, and fitting the feathers and the arrowhead. They carefully aim their arrows because an errant arrow can do great harm.
Most Christian parents are playing defense with their children when they ought to be playing offense. Playing defense means hoping your children won’t smoke, won’t drink, won’t do drugs, won’t sleep around, and won’t get in trouble. As good as that is, that’s too low a goal for Christian parents. We ought to raise our children to play offense, to learn how to change the world for Jesus Christ. We ought to pray that God would make our children “impact players” for Jesus Christ.
Sometimes our dreams for our children are too small. We want them to get an education, find a career, settle down, marry a good person, and move out of the house. That’s not enough. Do you want your children to serve the Lord? It won’t happen by accident. You must sharpen them like arrows and aim them in the right direction.
God doesn’t mandate how many children a couple should have. Quivers are like shoes, they come in many sizes. Age and health considerations play into the decision, but motive is also important. Having fewer children may be convenient, but it may not always be the best decision. My wife Judy and I decided that three was enough for us, but I have always also said that I wanted a quiver full of grandchildren.
Children were the Biblical version of Social Security. They provided for their parents in their old age. If parents have loving children, their future is more secure than if they had $1 million in the bank.
Derek Kidner points out that “raising children can be tiresome and difficult” and that is certainly true. Children are both a burden and a blessing. It is likely that our children will be a handful before they become a quiverful.
We can partner with the Lord Jesus Christ in the building of our homes. When we do, our families will be blessed, our children will prosper, our marriages will flourish, and Jesus Christ will be praised. I speak from personal experience. There is no greater reward, no better testimony, no higher goal for Christian parents. “May you live to see your grandchildren playing at your feet.”