A Quiver of Arrows
By Jeannette Webb
The topic of college is a troublesome one in many homeschooling circles. In fact, what we do after homeschool is one of the most divisive issues in our community:
· Do we even send our kids to college?
· Do we dare prepare our kids to a top tier college?
· Is it possible to be a person of faith at a secular college?
· What type of degree should our daughters work toward?
This is such a heated topic that many of my clients have felt isolated and ostracized because they felt called to prepare for a top-tier school while many of their friends decried college involvement of any kind.
We all have different motivations for considering the college question and how we approach it. I need to be clear that I’m not saying that all homeschoolers belong in top tier schools. What I am saying is that there might be very good reasons for applying there.
This college thing is not easy. As we begin to think about it, this time for releasing our children, many of us are faced with sudden apprehension. We’ve all heard the stories of parties, drugs, and the hook-up culture that seems to dominate college campuses.
The world is such a wicked place and the homes we have created for our families so secure that, in the privacy of our heart and mind, we can convince ourselves that safety is better. But I would invite you to consider what the wisest man the world has ever known had to say about it:
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord: The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They shall not be ashamed, when they speak with their enemies in the gate.” Psalms 127: 3-5
Now, many homeschoolers tend to focus on the full quiver component of this verse and the Lord certainly has special blessings for the large family. But let’s look at it through another vantage point – the picture of the child as an arrow crafted specifically for use in war. This child is groomed (crafted if you will) to protect the family, defend their values, and carry on their way of life.
If we put this verse in historical context, we find that is was written by Solomon, son of the mighty warrior King David. You need to understand that war was a constant feature in the history of Israel. While David was king, there was never a single day of peace throughout his entire reign. So Solomon grew up with war as an everyday companion, much like a child in Israel today.
Going back to our verse in Psalms, many of us tend to have a sanitized idea of meeting our enemies at the gate. As a mother, I would prefer to see the gate as a picket fence with daisies poking through and two men having a heated argument.
But in truth, if you look at ancient Assyrian stone carvings depicting the battles of that time, you would see cities fortified with massive walls and defensive chambers. Archers are lining the walls on top shooting down. Hundreds of archers are at the foot shooting those on the wall.
This is the picture Solomon had in his mind as he wrote that verse and the picture was not a pleasant one.
We must understand that if the arrows stay in the quiver, they are essentially worthless. They may be safe in the quiver temporarily, but when the city is overrun and the massacre complete, the arrows designed for good will be used in the hands of the enemy.
The most crucial battlegrounds today are college campuses. As my son shares in our book, Called to Influence, the academy is arguably the most important marketplace of ideas on earth. It is the place where movers and shakers are made. It is a training ground for so much that our culture holds dear.
Are you preparing your arrows to be released boldly into the fray or are you hiding them in your quiver?
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