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Discovery Magazine 4/1/2005


Children, Archers, and Arrows

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

Quick. Name something that every person (except Adam and Eve) was at one point in the past? How about a child?! Everyone starts out as a child. Under normal conditions, that child grows into adolescence, youth, adulthood, and old age. But it all begins with childhood—which makes children veryimportant.

Once, when Jesus saw children being kept away from Him, “He was greatly displeased,” and said to the people around Him, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). Jesus even warned: “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me…. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:4,6). Wow! Jesus reallyplaced a high value on the soul of a child.

This should not surprise us. Years earlier, the psalmist had written: “Children are a heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3). Adults must understand that children are gifts from God who are sent to them for safekeeping. This is why the psalmist wrote that children “are as arrows in the hand of a mighty man” (127:4, ASV). Children, like arrows, must be launched toward a singular goal: heaven. Adults are God’s archers; children are God’s arrows.

Proverbs 29:15 records: “A child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” How true! The Proverbs writer said: “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (13:24). Children need a combination of love anddiscipline. In Ephesians 6:1, children are commanded to obey their parents. But three verses later, fathers are admonished
to rear their children “in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Adults have a huge responsibility to children—to teach and discipline. But children also have their own fair share of responsi-bility—to learn and obey.

Sometimes, when failure occurs, it may be not just the adult, or just the child, who is at fault. It might be both. Let us all make up our minds to obey God. As Jesus told His disciples, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). That’s good advice—for both children and adults.



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