“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed but shall speak with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5). The psalmist’s simple simile in verse 4—”Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth”—provides much food for thought.
Like arrows, children need external direction and guidance to be successful. The nature of fallen humanity is such that “it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23), “he that trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26), and “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12); therefore, the timeless truth is that “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Given adequate and timely portions of life’s physical necessities all children will grow up; however, to “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4) necessitates abundant parenting, significant amounts of spiritual direction and guidance.