Ready, Aim, Fire!

by Herschel on February 26, 2013

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Bow hunter taking aim

Dropping your first child off at college can be a traumatic event for parents (especially for Mom!). You ask yourself, “Is he ready? Will he be able to handle it?” You find yourself praying a little more often and a little harder than before. Last August, my wife and I took our son to Florida to attend college. He’s a long way from home, and we can’t be available to help him when problems arise. He’s on his own as far as day-to-day matters are concerned. We feel that this is a great opportunity for him to grow in maturity and responsibility. We’re praying for him daily, but we can’t intervene in his life as easily as we once did. We have to trust that God will guide him and pray that we’ve laid a good enough foundation that will serve as a solid “launching pad” from which he can move forward with his schooling, his career and his life.

In Psalm 127:4-5, we read, “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…” I started thinking, our job as Christian parents is to accurately “aim” our children and then, when they’re ready, release them into the world to make the maximum impact for God’s kingdom.

My former neighbor hunted with a bow and arrow; he used to practice in his back yard. He would quietly take his stance and then, patiently and steadily, put the arrow on the string and draw it back into place. At just the right time, he would release it at the target. More often than not, it landed near the center. His skill as a marksman was acquired over many hours and years of patient, consistent and persistent practice. A novice or occasional bow hunter could not hope to achieve his level of accuracy and consistency in hitting the target.

The example of the bow hunter can serve as a practical pattern for our parenting. We can’t be as effective as “occasional” or inconsistent parents as we can be by being consistent and steady in our parenting and in our modeling for our children. Sometimes I lose my temper and think that my agitation and volume will make my point. That’s no way to hunt! You’ll scare the animals off, and you won’t be able to aim accurately either. It takes years of patient, consistent and persistent practice to accurately aim your “arrows;” but at the proper time, you must release them. If you hold onto them too long, the opportunity will pass by and the target will get away!

Perimeter Church offers lots of equipping opportunities for parents. Go to www.perimeter.org and click on “Children & Students” for a drop-down menu of options under “Parent Support” or type Marriage and Family in the search.

HH

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