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How to Raise Children

Parents all over the world have the same question: how do I raise my children? What things should I do or not do in order to give my child the best opportunities while avoiding the pitfalls in life? Isaiah 49 talks about how God raises up His children. It has good points that we would do well to consider.

Isaiah 49:1-2 says, “Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;”

God has a word for you. The Almighty God is looking NOW for parents who are willing to raise polished arrows. There are opportunities coming in the days ahead that only people in your country of your nationality will be able to fulfill. God has created good works for each person — and each nation — to do. God is looking for arrows.

Micah 7:1-6 is a picture of what your country will look like if Christians do not raise a generation of godly children.

In Isaiah 49:2, the writers states that God has “made” him a polished arrow. That’s the first key. He took something that was not an arrow and made it into an arrow. That’s the way it is with children. God doesn’t give you a finished product. He gives you the raw material. How you form and shape that raw material largely influences what the finished product is going to become.

The next word we look at is “me.” The key here is that “me” is not someone else. You can’t pick your children. People waste time wishing they had someone else’s children. That is foolish idolatry and a rejection of God’s gift to you. An easy test of this is by looking at how much time you spend with your children. If I give my child a gift, whether a toy or a book, I know how much they really like it by how much time they spend using it. It’s the same with God. He knows how much we like His gifts to us (our children) by how much time we spend with them.

The next key word is “polished.” When I was a child, I wanted to be an Indian when I grew up. I would ask for a bow and arrow set for Christmas. I was always disappointed to see that the arrows I got had the rubber plungers on them. I wanted the real thing. Sadly, too, the arrows themselves were really lacking in their abilities. You could pull the string ever so hard and aim ever so carefully, but those arrows could end up about anywhere within a ten foot range of the target.

Even when I got older, I discovered that just because an arrow had a sharp tip didn’t mean it was much better. I was still too young to grasp the fact that real hunters didn’t buy their arrows at a chain department store.

What I learned is that there are many common arrows. There are few polished ones.

My mother had a book I enjoyed reading when I was younger.  It told of a king who left his town under the rule of his three sons while he went off on a journey.  When he was on the return journey, he realized that in the wee hours of the morning, the town had begun to catch fire.  All would be lost if no one sounded the alert.  He shot several arrows at the town bell but missed.  Finally, he reached into the quiver and pulled out the special arrow, the one that was saved only for emergencies.  With that arrow fitted in the bow, he shot accurately and rang the bell which alerted the townspeople just in time.

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