Throughout history children have been used in warfare, through either direct combat roles or in support roles. Can you imagine strapping an AK-47 onto your 12 year old and sending them out into the field to fight? Seems crazy, yet this is not uncommon in parts of the world that are entangled in fighting for freedom, or at least what they view as freedom.
Today I’m asking Believers to do the same thing with their children. Today I’m asking and telling myself, my children need to be engaged in war. I don’t own much in the way of firearms. I have a shotgun that I’ve missed a few pheasants in my day. In fact I’m not sure I’ve actually killed anything with this shotgun, but my poor shooting is not the point of this article.
Today I hope we’ll consider the purpose of the training and equipping of our children. Why did you have children?
Psalm 127:3-4 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.
The first thing we see is that children are a reward. We recently attended a conference and one of the speakers was telling a story of his father and how his father had discussed this with a couple that were committed to not having children. He said to them if God wants to give you a gift, why would you refuse that?
Most of society views children as a nuisance, not a reward. Something we are obligated to have. Two and out is the general rule of thumb, unless you have the same variety twice and then it’s okay to have a third to try for a boy or a girl.
Verse 4 tells us children are arrows in the hand of a warrior. The first question to ask, are you a warrior? If you’re not a warrior, there’s no need to have arrows in your hand, they will only hurt you. Have you ever watched someone untrained try handling a weapon; they look clumsy doing it. If you are not being trained for battle you have no business training your children, you are incapable of this without being this yourself. Note: this does not absolve you of your responsibility, and if this is not you then I would encourage you to read my articles on A Sure Guide to Heaven.
Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
So what is the battle?
Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
This battle, this holy war, is against things seen and unseen. Our only offensive weapon in this battle is the word of God; verse 17 goes on to say, And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
To engage this battle we must be saved and we must be training in the word of God. This word is sharp and it cuts and it divides. It discerns the intent of one’s heart (Hebrews 4:12). Have you experienced this before?
This article draws a clear line in the sand and I’m hopeful exposes our hearts before God.
Are you bumping through life with no clear purpose and no clear vision for your family? Do you have purpose in your own life? Please don’t pass over this question today. Sit and think today about your purpose.
Society is training children very well for the playground of life. A Believer should be training children for the battleground, to take ground for the Lord Jesus Christ.
What simple, practical steps can you take today if you’ve failed in this endeavor?
Repent. Gather your family together tonight and confess your lack of vision and leadership and explain to them their new mission.
Create a vision statement. Write something out on paper. Have them help and develop a plan. Have you heard the worn out financial advisor cliché, “nobody plans to fail, they only fail to plan”.
Turn off the television. The word “amusement” means to NOT THINK! How can you be engaged in a battle if you turn off your brain?
Have family worship consistently. Sit around a table and talk with your family. Have deep and meaningful conversations. Learn to know your children and your spouse. We’ve benefited from a study in Proverbs by Kevin Swanson. Other ideas are going verse by verse through a book of the Bible; we’ve done this with most of Paul’s letters and parts of Matthew.
Today we were discussing Proverbs chapter 11 and with tearful eyes my daughter Grace said, “thank you Dad for reading this with us”. Praise God for His grace.
Don’t be lazy. Just do it!
This call is primarily to men. If you are a man that is concerned about your family and wants them to be warriors for Christ, you must take action. The world will quickly scoop them up and take their hearts if you don’t.
May the Lord bless you today as you fight for His kingdom!