I’m writing this post on Election Day. By the time it’s posted, we’ll know who our next President is, after this very long campaign season. Throughout, it’s been interesting to observe how keyed in my children are to my husband’s and my choices. They both enthusiastically support the candidate we do. My 10-year-old has also reported to me who all of the parents of the children in his fourth-grade classroom are voting for, sometimes with shock and horror. Every one of his classmates supports the same candidate as his or her parents.
It won’t always be this way, of course. As they get a little older, most of these children will take pride in choosing at least somewhat different paths than their parents, yet the foundations we have provided for them will remain, whether they are strong or weak ones.
And this particular time when my boys are absolutely committed to the same political choices I make is a powerful reminder of how much influence I have in their lives.
So it’s essential that I understand my own role, not as the one they should emulate but, as Christian artist Rich Mullins put it, as an arrow pointing to heaven. My words and actions should serve to point beyond myself to God. This has always seemed to me to be especially helpful guidance for parents.
Psalm 127 also describes children as arrows. “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them” (vv 4-5a).
These verses describe the blessings of having children, one of which is that children, when grown, can offer protection to their parents. Yet I think there’s more to this analogy of our children as arrows. We hold our children close for a while, seeking to make them straight and true. We then aim them in a particular direction before we release them.
Ask yourself today: How am I acting as an arrow pointing to heaven? How am I seeking to aim my children toward God?
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them!