“Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3).
Parenting is amazing. You produce and raise your children, and when they are grown God tells you that those children are the paycheck God gives you for the life you have lived!
Children are heirlooms we receive from God as an inheritance. They are God’s way of rewarding us, of compensating us for our service to Him. In our old age, those heirlooms are priceless. They are linked to our past labor and bring value to our present. God will use them to sustain us in our future while on earth. What a paycheck for living well!
Yet we know that there is another side to this coin. Some men find that their pursuit of fame and fortune produces vanity in their future. Such is an empty and wasted pursuit. They will sit in their future empty life and realize that all was vain. The psalmist saw this and challenged men to live extraordinary lives—lives that proclaim that God is Number One to them. Such a deep-hearted love for God reveals that God is the only one whose wisdom will build the home (v. 1a), protect the home (v. 1b), and provide for the home (v. 2). In a world where career, sports, and entertainment commonly crowd out the priority of God in men’s hearts, it is an extraordinary man whose life reveals that God has first place in his life.
It has been said that “duties never conflict; they just overlap.” What do you do when your duty to God is in conflict with your duty to some earthly endeavor? Just this week I heard a pastor who ministers in a southern state tell of a church member who said to him, “Pastor, I wish I could be there Sunday to hear your message that launches the new series. However, I’ll be at the race this Sunday. But I’ll get online and watch your message.” The pastor replied, “Why don’t you come to God’s house and worship Him on Sunday and watch the race online Monday?” An extraordinary man makes life-decisions based on God being in first place because it is God who builds, protects, and provides for his family. What a waste to try to build, protect, and provide for your family from the position of slighting God! How sad to see men profess to love God yet push Him down their priority list over and over again.
An extraordinary man is rewarded by God. The children raised by such a man will bring great value to him, especially in his later years (vv. 3-4). A mighty hunter will work diligently to prepare every aspect of his arrow—the shaft, feathers, and tip. Why? He knows that the day will come when he will release that arrow to travel into the future to accomplish what is beyond him. It must fly with precision as it swiftly pierces the air. The parenting work of an extraordinary man is focused on what happens when he releases his arrows. Where will they travel? What will they accomplish? How will they live? Will God be their focus, priority, and first love? If his life proves him to have been an extraordinary man, his many arrows will accomplish great deeds and will protect him in his more advanced years (v. 5b).
As he contemplates the future of the many arrows in his quiver, the extraordinary man smiles (v. 5a). He is happy. He expects the heirlooms will be of such value that he has no concern for the future. Danger is not a concern for him because of the arrows he spent a lifetime preparing. He will be paid well for his extraordinary life.
To Think and Pray About…
- What a blessing it is to have the favor of the Lord in the gift of children and the opportunity to prepare them in a strategic way to launch into adult life!
- Think of two or three competing matters you might have to deal with as you endeavor to form Bible-based priorities for the nurture of your family.
- “Lord, help me to demonstrate consistently that You have the position of Number One in my life.”
This chapter was written by Pastor Mike Aylestock.
Taken from The Extraordinary Father. CLICK HERE for more information.