Today I spoke to the wonderful Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS.org) group in Rome, NY.
Psalms 127:4 says, "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth."
And what do you do with arrows but aim them at a target?
In today's culture, though, the target is getting more difficult to hit; more difficult to see, even. Just what is the target? And how do you hit it? This is what I told the MOPS in Rome.
Arrows have to be prepared, propelled, and sometimes retrieved.
To prepare your arrows, embrace your role. Embracing your role means deliberate parenting. Parenting on purpose. If you want to know what that looks like, let me introduce you to That Football Field Lady.
Secondly, arrows also have to be propelled in order to fly. If you don't propel them, I told the MOPS today, something will, and you may not like the target they are heading towards then. Propelling arrows means equipping your kids; helping them discover their gifts and talents, teaching them to work hard, making sure they know you love them. Basically, making sure as they grow up they have what they need to soar.
Then, occasionally, arrows need retrieving. We went to Silver Bay for vacation last summer, (wonderful family vacation I heartily recommend http://www.silverbay.org/) and I went to watch Cory at the archery range one afternoon. "When you retrieve your arrows," the instructor said, "sometimes you will find them barely visible because they go so far into the ground."
And so it is with kids. During some seasons, you may not recognize them- the kid you knew might be barely visible. Go after them. Do whatever it takes to retrieve your arrows, even when you barely recognize them.
Guard your children like a warrior guards his arrows. Then aim carefully; aim deliberately. And keep your target in sight.