"Don't you see that children are God's best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep." Psalm 127:3-8
The translation above comes from the message. The Jews understood this passage to mean that sons are a blessing because they can defend their parents as witnesses in court. But looking deeper into this passage, what is it about children that arms us against our enemies and the evil one? A couple things come to mind (you can probably think of others).
1. Children give me a glimpse at what God's perfect unconditional love is like. I love my kids in a way that I didn't know I was capable of before I had kids. Yet it is still only a feeble caricature of the perfect love God has for all of us. My kids are my catalyst for learning selflessness.
2. Children give me a glimpse of my own stubbornness. As I discipline my children and try to train them up properly, I see the stubbornness and strong-will that exists in them… a resistance to the refining we as parents are trying to accomplish. Parenting would be a piece of cake if they learned and listened the first time :) God must think the same about me.
3. Children remind me of what it was like to be young. "And He said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Mt 18:3. They are a model to us for our own re-birth.
4. Children can teach us a lot about ourselves. For example, when I come across a trait in one of my children that particularly annoys me, it eventually causes me to stop and do some self-searching. Nearly every time, the trait is a trait that I have as well and either consciously or unconsciously, I despise it in myself.
It's an interesting paradox that God uses the children we are training up as tools to train us up in His ways. And for those out there without your own children, all of the above applies to step-children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, kids in your Sunday school class, etc.
So this Wednesday, as we fast, we are praying for the children in our lives. That we see them as the gifts that they are and that we allow God to use them as powerful tools in our refining.
Have a great week and a great fast.
5 years ago