Anchors or Arrows?

“Lo, children are an heritage of The Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” -Psalms 127:3-5
A thought came to my mind today. Are my children an anchor, or are they arrows? The Bible tells us that our children are like arrows in the hand of a mighty man. What does this mean?
When you think of a man at battle, he doesn’t just go out with his bow, depending on his strength alone, but he carries with him a pouch of arrows. He doesn’t just chose one or two arrows to go with him either, because he knows that the more arrows he has, the better a chance of him winning the war. These arrows, though they may be heavy, and may require more strength and effort to carry with him, are necessary for the warrior.
Not many people today look at children in this light. More often then not, children are looked at as anchors rather than arrows. They look more at the weight and responsibility of raising children rather than the joy an spiritual benefit that they bring to life.
Even very well meaning Christians are this way. I do not blame them, for they are also just swayed by our cultural beliefs. We are constantly encouraged with well meaning words like, “wait a year.” And “give yourself some time.” And the words we are hearing more recently, “don’t you think you have enough?”
Children are treated like anchors that hold us back from the life that we should have. Mothers put them into daycares in order to pursue a career, and to follow her dreams. Positive pregnancy tests are looked at in fear and dread rather than joy and anticipation.
Why are things like this if God says that they are a joy, and make men happy, and arrows that benefit our lives, rather than hold us back??? To be honest, I also am guilty of these same thoughts and feelings. Especially during my last pregnancy. Although I had surrendered that part of my life to God before I got married, I really struggled embracing it. Especially when God saw fit to give us 3 of the little blessings in just the first 3 years we were married. I even in my mind would try to think of ways to avoid pregnancy without actually preventing it, like to memorize my cycle so that I am more aware of the days when I can become pregnant, or to try to get my babies to nurse more frequently so that maybe it would hold back fertility longer. I tried everything in my own effort to keep God from blessing us without outright refusing his blessing. I rejoiced each time another month past after Josiah was born and I was not pregnant. Then when it happened, I found myself bombarded with feelings of uncertainty. I felt like I just wasn’t ready yet. I wanted more time, I wanted to be in better shape physically, I wanted to have more of a handle on my life. To be better in control of my children, to be keeping a cleaner house. All these thoughts overwhelmed me. Once again though, I handed those feelings back over to God. I knew He had a plan, and that this was a good thing that He had done in our lives.
This was, is, and probably will continue to be a very real struggle in my spiritual life, but as I sit here and think on it, I realize that this also is one of the benefits it these precious arrows. They grow our faith and dependance upon The Lord, so that we are even more equip to fight the battles He has ahead of us.
So as I sit here, my prayer to God is that He continues to help me to look at these little blessings as arrows in my life, and not as anchors that are holding me back from something far greater.
“As for God, his way is perfect.” Psalm 18:30a

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