Happy Children or Warrior Children?
“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.” Psalms 127:3-4
I have two boys at home, one is five and the other is three. As you can imagine, my house is full of shields, swords, legos, cars, dinosaurs .. etc. Lately, they’ve been fascinated with the story of David and Goliath. They love to act it out; Noah pretends to be Goliath and Nathan, my three year old, pretends to be David who defeats the giant.
The human being was created to conquer. From an early age, you see in mankind the need to achieve, and not only receive things. For example, my second son Nathan feels the happiest when he manages to dress himself. He actually takes it as an offense if his mom helps him put on his clothes. It’s the human being’s nature to celebrate the small conquests. When a child achieves something for the first time, he makes sure everyone around him knows. I think this is what differentiates us from animals; dogs for example live only to eat, sleep, and play. But the human being was created in the image of the Creator, and part of the nature of our God is to conquer and do good; we were created for this!
THE JOSHUA GENERATION
The Bible tells us about a generation God raised after Moses, the generation of Joshua. God instructs Moses to prepare this leader to conquer the land of Canaan as follows: (Deut. 3:28)
1. Encouraging him
2. Strengthening him
God did not want Moses to just give everything to Joshua, God wanted Joshua to learn to conquer his own challenges. This great teaching leads us to ask ourselves the following question as parents, what is the motivation and reason for the education of our children? I believe our big mistake is to think we raise our children to make them happy. I don’t think this is it; God longs for us to raise a generation of warriors, of children who learn to fight the battles of the Lord!
EVERY GENERATION NEEDS TO CONQUER
After Joshua’s generation, another generation rose up whose parents had not imparted this teaching to. They were no longer a strong and brave generation, but became a generation who was comfortable and had lost the spirit of conquest. So God did something to wake them up, look at what the Word says:
“These are the nations that God left there, using them to test the Israelites who had no experience in the Canaanite wars. He did it to train the descendants of Israel, the ones who had no battle experience, in the art of war.” (Judges 3:1-2 MSG)
C. S. Lewis said, “Christianity is a religion of war …” What great truth there is in this phrase. I believe that as parents we must give our children opportunities to learn to fight in the spirit. They must understand that we are part of a kingdom, the kingdom of God. For example, David’s father Jesse gave him the small responsibility of caring for a few sheep from an early age. And it was in that small responsibility that David prepared and strengthened himself for the day when he would have to fight one of his greatest battles and face Goliath the Giant.
What a great teaching! Let’s look for opportunities where our children can learn to seek God for themselves, to learn the importance of work, and discipline. Let’s raise warrior children that just like the arrow, will be a weapon of war in our hands that will go and do things much greater than the previous generation!