My sisters, mom, and I threw a shower for the littlest sister, Rebecca, and her sweet baby boy, Lincoln recently.
As Lincoln Charles Johnson is the 12th grandbaby/niece/nephew/cousin in the Johnson family, throwing showers has turned into a very creative endeavor! One shower a few years ago involved a 3 course meal. Another included a photo shoot. This one had a more typical feel but, like the others, everything was very intentional and had purpose.
We decided to focus this shower on the verse: Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth.
A couple of ways we focused it on this was through the decor (arrows and the verse) and by having the guests write prayers to be attached to a jar full of arrows.
We also included a short devotional and prayer time. I had the honor of leading this part so I get to share it with you!
The devotional was adapted from an article on FamilyLife.com entitled, "Crafting God's Arrows."
This is what God laid on my heart to share with Rebecca:
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalm 127:3-5
We are familiar with verse 3 and tend to focus on it because it is heart-warming to remember our children are a gift and a reward. But then verse 4 comes along. Suddenly our children are arrows and we are warriors. What does this mean? First, it’s important to understand that children are meant to be a reward not only to us as parents, but also to the rest of the world. Shaping them as arrows will allow them to be the greatest gift they can be to the world.
Let’s look at the 4 parts of an arrow to better understand this:
- Shaft- the body
- Feathers- keeps the arrow flying straight
- Nock- the groove to fit on the bow
- Point- the purpose of the arrow
First, we have the shaft which represents Lincoln’s identity. Scripture tells us that Lincoln has been made in the image of God. God’s very breath has given him life. We know from Psalm 139 that God is forming Lincoln’s inward parts, weaving him together in your womb. Lincoln is fearfully and wonderfully made, and someday when he surrenders his life to Christ, he will be called a child of God. This is his identity. And as his mom, you have the privilege of teaching him these things.
The feathers represent Lincoln’s character. If the arrow does not have quality feathers, it will be unpredictable and dangerous. A child with poor character will always miss his mark. “Children embrace what they are modeled far more than what they are told,” so I challenge you, Rebecca, to do as Micah 6:8 says: The Lord has told you what is good and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Next, we have the nock which represents Lincoln’s relationships. All of the power of the arrow is worthless without the bow to transfer it. The best place for Lincoln to learn about loving God and loving others is at home. Love the Lord, love your husband, love Lincoln with unconditional abandon, then love others, even the unloveliest, that God brings into your lives. That love represented through his relationships will be the power behind the rest of his life.
Finally we come to the point of the arrow - the very purpose: Lincoln’s mission. Lincoln is an unique individual, gifted for God’s purpose. Lincoln is an original. He is God’s original. Allow him to be unique, encourage him to be different, to find his purpose in Christ all for God’s glory.
A well crafted arrow -
who’s identity is found in Christ,
who’s character mirrors Christ’s,
who has a solid and intimate relationship with Christ,
and who finds his purpose in Christ -
will fly and hit the bullseye.
Remember: “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.”
Like an arrow in the hand of a warrior.