Unload the Quiver

images-1I had a thought the other day about parenting.  Big deal.  But, I liked it and I think I’ve hit on a true principle so I’m going to share it.

Sometimes when we tell our children (or anyone for that matter…a spouse, a co-worker, a pet) ‘no’ or ‘don’t do that’ or place any kind of ultimatum, we are unwittingly loading up their quiver with arrows of rebellion.  This can range from Laws of God to personal pet peeves;  I think the principle applies across the board.  (Ok, not ALL people are prepping
for battle…in fact lots of people look at instructions as stepping stones and use them as such…but once in a while we encounter an individual that doesn’t want to step in line and if we are not careful, they might become a master archer.)

Think about it:

UnknownDon’t lie

You can’t see that friend anymore

No pre-marital or extra marital sex

Don’t steal

UnknownYou will play football

Stay out of my sock drawer (my husband’s #1 pet peeve)

Don’t drink or take drugs


UnknownRemove your shoes when you come in the house

We play musical instruments

Don’t eat the food in the pantry

We don’t do that on Sunday

UnknownNo rated R movies

You can’t get your license until you get your Eagle

Don’t go in the street

We go to church

I am not suggesting that we shouldn’t lay down some laws or even express some expectations.  We should-most definitely.  God did not send us down here in a lawless state.  He gave Adam and Eve some commandments from the get-go (which, by the way, He had to expand as they matured and exercised their agency).  We NEED Laws.  But, I am suggesting that for some people, laws and ultimatums become ready arrows when they fall into rebellion.   Rebellion comes in many forms and on many levels, but the more ‘no’s’ a person has had, the more arrows they have loaded up. “Oh, you don’t think I should be drinking?  Take THAT!”  “I HAVE to play the piano? Really?!  Watch this!”   Again, I am not making a case for anarchy; but I am suggesting that we might be more thoughtful in our decision-making and our order-giving.  And which arrows belong to us and which ones belong to God? Because God-arrows can’t be removed.  And perhaps people in our life are not even ‘rebelling’ maybe they just want to separate from us. But again, the more we have pressed down upon them, the easier it will be for them to find points of separation.

Wouldn’t it be nice if when our children decide it’s time to become their own person, they won’t find much in their quiver that separates them from who they want to be and who we gave them the opportunity to be.  And wouldn’t it be nice if we can remember that our obligation is to teach, provide, and love and that nowhere in holy writ are we asked to make sure that everybody turns out nicely. In fact, that job belongs to….NOBODY.  When God inserted Agency, He nullified ‘make sure’ so I’m pretty sure that we can let it go as well…


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