As the service progressed, the Holy Spirit impressed upon me the importance of children in the church. Often-times children are side-lined in churches because of their tender age. We may not do it deliberately or out of spite but at times we can adopt the old saying ‘children should be seen and not heard’. Of course at times they can be unruly and disrupt the service and at such times they should be reprimanded. But largely, out of carelessness or ignorance we can view them as props in church and not active participants in the Kingdom of God.
While contemplating this issue; the Scripture in the book of Psalm 127:4-5 came to mind: “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” As I pondered on that scripture, a scene played out in my mind. I imagined a warrior reaching behind his back to retrieve an arrow, and after strategically placing it on the bow, he stretches his hand as far as it can stretch, in order to give the arrow all the force it needs. He sets his focus on his target and after careful calculation, he releases the arrow and it shoots forth with the single-minded intention of hitting the target.
In the old days, warriors used to make their own weaponry. Depending on the specialisation of a warrior, he would fashion his weapon to his needs and specifications. So the swordsmen made their own swords, and those who specialised in javelins would make them and likewise those who were archers made their own bows and arrows. So, it became clear to me that when the archer created his arrows, he had in mind the exact dimensions, weight and other characteristics they had to be, in order that they can carry out a successful assault. And because he personally crafted them, it could be said that the arrows were a part of him, an extension of him, if you will. As such, man and weapon were one; the arrow obeyed and carried out to precision every movement of the warrior’s hand.
The other thing that came to mind was the fact that unlike the archer, the arrow could reach places its maker couldn’t reach. It could move in speeds that the archer would never be able to navigate in. It could do a job that the archer could never accomplish. In terms of speed, what the arrow could travel in seconds, would take the archer a long while to equal. There are places the arrow could reach, that the archer would never get to. Also, the archer could not even begin to have the kind of impact that the arrow has on its target.
Knowing all of this then, I believe that the church should take special care when it comes to children. As adults, we must always keep in mind that we are fashioning arrows that we will use to fight the kingdom of darkness. It is imperative that we raise them to fear the Lord, live according to his statutes and feed and nourish them with the Word, so that in the day of contention, the Kingdom of God will not be put to shame.
As we send them forth in the world, we are shooting arrow after arrow. They should be a force to be reckoned with from pre-school through to university. They should leave a blazing trail in the market place through to the business world. There are battles we will not have enough strength to fight, wise though we are. There are arenas we, as the older generation, cannot contend in (take social media for instance) There are new threats cropping up every day, of which we are sorely lacking in fighting off. But all is not lost, for: “The glory of young men is their strength, and the beauty of old men is their grey head (suggesting wisdom and experience) Proverbs 20:29. (AMP) What is required of us then is to load our children with our wisdom and experience and when they add their strength, they will be propelled to heights we have never scaled! If we have done our job well, we will not be ashamed, for surely they will bring in the victory!