God’s plan to prepare for the future was parenting. Psalm 127 tells us that children are a blessing from the Lord, and that with them in the household, the family is like a quiver full of arrows. God has a target for each one of them, and our task is to hone the arrows to ensure that they fly straight and true – and hit the distant target of God’s destiny.

God’s plans are long term. His name as “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” implies that he thinks in terms of many generations, hundreds of years if necessary – as it took for the promises made to Abraham to be fulfilled in his descendants.

Sadly, in numerous instances, a generation has grown up which does not know the Lord nor what he has done, and inevitably trouble ensues for a whole culture (Judges 2:10,11). But the promise remains: if we will train up our children in the way that they should go, when they are old (in the long run), they will not depart from it.

The world has its own ideas as to the way in which our children are to be trained. This is why Christian education is so vital. It establishes a way to live and a way to think about all of life – a trajectory for the arrows that will fly into the future. Since they are arrows, children will inevitably hit some target or another. Let’s make sure it is the target of the Lord’s destiny rather than the goals of the kingdom of man! And we should be aware that parenting is a risky business: if we do not raise our children in God’s ways we are likely to shoot ourselves in the foot!

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Or, you can listen to chapter 9 as audio files: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

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