Thursday, April 9, 2009

Successfully Raising Children

"Behold children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!"
Psalm 127:3-5 (ESV)

"Like arrows in the hands of a warrior." What a great statement! A well-skilled archer has effective aim. We have a few avid bow hunters in our Church family, I try, but others put me to shame. They practice, study methods, upgrade equipment, and are able to be on target. Me not so much. I will get out one day before the season starts, dust off my bow, find all my arrows and take a few shots. No wonder my freezer stays empty. I neglect four basic rules of archery:
1) The Direction I point the arrow is important,
2) The Strength of the pull has effect,
3) Properly Timing the Release is valuable, and
4) Accuracy in Aiming is vital.

Apply these to raising children and you understand more about what the Psalmist has in mind.
1) What Direction am I pointing my children in?
2) What Influence (Pull) am I giving them with my lifestyle?
3) Do I let go (Release) them into situations (or expose them to certain things of the world) before they are ready? Or am I hanging on too long?
4) What are my goals (where am I Aiming) for me and my children?

Paul tells fathers (and mothers by default), " . . . do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." (Eph 6:4)

Here are a list of Parental Rules to Model and to Teach so we can be skilled archers.
1) Put purity above pleasure.
2) Place others before yourself.
3) Be more industrious and less lazy.
4) As an adult be more mature and less childish.
5) Demonstrate service over power.
6) Be Christ-like.

** in the photo Scott McCown with younger brother Charles in front, older brother: Doug McCown holding cousin Michelle, cousin Michael McCown. Taken in Chesapeake, Ohio circa 1976 -77.

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