Ribbons and Bows
Human ingenuity shows up in a great many ways. Take archery for example; instead of the simple bow and string, the implements of archery are a modern marvel. The first leap in having more effective and deadly bows was the recurve bow thought to have been invented in 800 BC. Just by having the tips of the bow curve face the opposite direction, the strength and speed of the shot was increased dramatically.
Modern bows are even more complex, due to the invention of the compound bow, patented by H. W. Allen, Jr. in as late as 1969. Instead of having a simple recurve at the end, he fitted a bow with cables and pulleys, using leverage to get a greater pull. In the United States, the compound is the most widely used form of bow in archery.
This consideration can help us see a set of verses in perhaps a different way. Psalm 127:3-5 reads:
“Behold, children are a gift of YHWH,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.”
While some have sought to take this verse to only focus on the number of children a family might have, the point is not the number, but the effectiveness. Arrows do not accomplish anything unless they are fired with accuracy and skill. Arrows fired randomly and without intention, are dangerous and destructive. The same is true of children. If we are not intentional in how we raise our children, and prepare them for their life outside of our homes, they may do us more harm than good. We might have a few more opportunities, but we are not guaranteed success.
Back to all of the great many inventions that can help the archer, we are blessed to have churches to help us in preparing our children for their path in life. We can have even more success when we all work together to teach, challenge, encourage, and comfort the children who are born to families who are in the Lord’s church.
I do not deny that it is the parents’ job (and specifically the fathers) to “bring [children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) However, I cannot overstate the importance of faithful saints who cooperate with godly parents to help our young men and women to find their mark.