Arrows & Warriors: Thoughts on Being a Dad

arrowsYou could label me as a lot of things: husband, pastor, Christian, techie (much different than Trekkieđź––). Next to “husband,” my favorite label is “Daddy.”

Sometimes my kids call me by my first name, and it really catches me off guard. I laugh because it sounds so funny to hear them say it, but then I quickly remind them that only 3 people on all of planet Earth can accurately (and in a non-creepy way) call me “Daddy,” so they should take advantage of that.

This weekend is Father’s Day – an extra day on the calendar since 1910 when we celebrate the joys (and challenges) of fatherhood.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible has made it onto my son’s wall in poster form and onto my right bicep in tattoo form. It’s found in Psalm 127, and if you read it carefully, it tells the story of a dad and his kids…

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. – Psalm 127:3-5 (NLT)

ARROWS

Arrows need to be sharpened and aimed.

Our job as dads is to help our children thrive without us. We can’t always be there to rescue them or realign them, but we can aim them in the right direction while we have the chance.

Life is a series of teachable moments. Whether it’s in public at a restaurant, while watching a TV show together, or while you’re tucking them into bed, life provides endless opportunities to sharpen and aim our arrows in the right direction. And dads have a special and irreplaceable bond with their kids. A moment spent in the life of your child is never a wasted moment.

Sharpening and aiming our arrows is rarely easy, and it’s not always fun, but it’s our opportunity and responsibility.

Arrows were created to hit the bullseye.

What’s the bullseye? To live the life God has designed them to live (Ephesians 2:10). But here’s the catch… Arrows can’t hit the bullseye if they stay in the quiver. Take advantage of every moment you have with them in the quiver, then don’t hesitate when it comes time to let them fly.

Take heart. “Our” kids are actually God’s kids. We are warriors with borrowed arrows. (tweet this) As much as you want your kids to succeed and honor God, God wants that infinitely more!

WARRIORS

Our title reminds us that parenting is a battle.

It’s not just a battle in regards to discipline, door slamming, and demanding that your kids drink water and not eat Cocoa Puffs every day. There’s a much greater battle going on.

Men are wired as warriors. God designed us to lead and protect, to battle and provide. But we can never get so caught up in the physical manifestations of the battle that we forget the unseen (and far more dangerous) spiritual battle.

Soldiers don’t fight against their arrows; they fight with them. Our children are our God-given weapons in the war we are called to wage.

With Jesus, the war has already been won!

That’s good news because there are many times that you feel defeated as a dad. I get it.

“Why are you crying now?”

“How does it take so long for you to get ready?!”

“How can I manage an entire branch of a company/lead a team/balance a budget of millions of dollars, but not keep my 5-year old in bed for longer than 12 minutes?”

Psalm 127 reminds us that the warrior who honors God will not be put to shame when he faces his accusers. And accusers there will be! But the Bible reminds us that we aren’t just warriors or just conquerors, but we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord.


And one more reminder…

Our kids may not know us by our code name, “Warrior,” but they do know us by our earthly title, “Father.”

Don’t take the title “Father” lightly. It’s the same title God uses for Himself! (tweet this)

Recognize the weight of the title “Father.” The way our kids growing up viewing their earthly father will have a lot to do with how they view their Heavenly Father. Set them up for success and do your best to show them what the Ultimate Father is really like!

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