30 January, 2011 § Leave a comment
“3Behold, (F)children are a gift of the LORD, The (G)fruit of the womb is a reward. 4Like arrows in the hand of a (H)warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 5How (I)blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; (J)They will not be ashamed When they (K)speak with their enemies (L)in the gate.”
I love archery. When I was a child, my father bought my brother Ben and I longbows as a way for him to spend more time with us. After we set up the bales of hay, I would fire my bow till my left wrist nearly bled from the impact of the string. My pointer and middle fingers were raw at the bend from drawing it back to the full limit of my laughable forearms. My brow would fiercely furrow as I looked down the shaft of my arrow, shifting my focus from tip to target. The sound of the whistling dart was music to my ears and the electrifying victory of a bull’s-eye was eye-candy. I prided myself on being a fair archer and it greatly pleased me to hear my father praise my ability. When I read the Psalmist equating having many children to being a warrior archer, it spurs on my desire to develop and sharpen my arrows until they are fit for the service of the Lord.
It has always been my dream to have a son– a sharp young arrow who looks as much like me as I do my own father. This desire is a bit narcissistic, I admit, but in light of the future joy, I could not want a better life than that of a father—a daddy. Over and over again I dream of it as if it were that bull’s-eye. I would have a dozen children but for my poor fiancé who puts up with this insatiable yearning for a line of my own; therefore I strive to be sensitive to her wants and needs as well. For this reason I think of why people choose not to have children. No longer are we in the age of giving birth for the joy of necessity. Instead we have entered into an era where a young family may choose not to have children and for it to have no immediate consequence in their lives whatsoever. The farm won’t go under for lack of hands, families won’t go underdressed in the winter because there was no one to sow or knit, and families won’t starve for lack of food because they couldn’t get the harvest in before the frost. As utilitarian as these reasons are for having children, it is not a big deal for a couple to refrain from procreation for the sake of convenience. Without children, there are no diapers, no messes, sleep filled nights, no PT meetings, and the like. But in the end, we all atrophy, and if there is no one strong who loves us to uphold us when we become weak and aged, then we will crumble and die, decrepit and lonely. Therefore; I desire, for the sake of my future children and their spouses, for more people to fathom the joy of parenthood that awaits us. Yes it will be difficult, and yes, it will call for transformation, but I welcome the trials that will assay my character. I will cherish the elation of faithful children standing by my side at the city gate, standing for their God and their daddy, a skilled archer.