Shooting Arrows :
Preparing our children for their teenage years and beyond

Brian Watts first presented this teaching on preparing young children for their teenage years and beyond to the Langley Covenant Community Church in 1995. Using the analogy of children as arrows (taken from Psalm 127), Brian speaks of the need to train our young children to hit the target that God has prepared as the destiny for their lives.

In Part 1 (45 mins), we consider:
1. A Full Quiver
2. Choosing a Target

In Part 2 (45 mins), we consider:
3. Taking Aim
4. Releasing the arrow

Part 1

1. A Full Quiver (Psalm 127:1-5)

a) A father’s responsibility to build a house

b) A father’s resources in building a house

  • An offensive resource
  • A defensive resource
  • A purposeful resource

Questions for discussion and study:

a) To what promises am I an heir?

  • See Gen 15:18-21; Rom 12:6-8; Eph 4:7 (note how these last two passages define boundaries)
  • See also 1Tim 4:14; Eph 2:10

b) What are the generational implications of my family background?

  • See Ex 20:5.6; 34:6,7; Deut 23:2-4,7-8; Jer 31:29-32; 1Cor 6:9-11; 2Cor 5:16,17; 1Pet 4:3-6; 2Tim 1:5; 3:14-17
  • Remember: Who chose your parents for you? Whether you have the privilege of being a first generation Christian with the possibility of being the one to start a new family in God, or a later generation Christian able to build on an established foundation – either is a privilege that should evoke worship.

c) In the light of questions (a) and (b):
What is my highest but most realistic aspiration for each of my children?

2. Choosing a Target (Proverbs 22:6)

a) Parenting is described in terms of “training in the way”

b) The target that we choose must include:

  • Character goals
  • Career goals

Questions for discussion and study:

a) Consider the following scriptures: Prov 22:6; Deut 6:6,7; 1Sam 3:13; Eph 6:4

  • What do they say about the nature of training in “character goals”

b) Take time to look through the book of Proverbs. See how many references you can find to “The way” (or similar words like “path” or “walk” or “steps”).

  • What do they tell you about the way in which your children should walk, and how parents should help them to walk in that way?

c) What prophetic words (if any) have been spoken over your child? Take time to review them.

d) List the areas of strengths and weaknesses that you observe in your children (character, temperament, personality, gifting etc).

  • Considering these in light of 1Cor 12:14-25; Rom 9:21; 12:5-8; 1Pet 4:10,11, what goals can you clearly define as being appropriate for your children?

Part 2

3. Taking Aim

a) Aiming toward character goals

  • Our children should be holy before God

b) Aiming toward career goals

  • Our children should be useful to God

Questions for discussion and study:

a) Consider the following scriptures: Prov 19:18; 13:24; Rev 3:19; 1Sam 3:13; 1Kings 1:6

  • What do they say about the nature of true parental affection and love?

b) Consider Ex 2:1-10; Dan 1:3-20; Acts 22:3; 26:4-8; 2Tim 1:5; 3:14-17

  • What part did childhood training play in the calling that these men of God were ultimately able to fulfill?

c) Knowing your own children, seek to come up with some answers to each of the “What kind of…?” questions with which we concluded the teaching session.

4. Releasing the Arrows (Isaiah 49:1-8)

a) Foundational training in place

  • Polished arrows in the quiver

b) A clear sense of identity

  • He made mention of my NAME
  • A sense of worthlessness
  • A sense of timing
  • A sense of destiny

Questions for discussion and study:

a) Consider the early life of David (1Sam 16-30)

  • What were the significant elements in his early training and experiences of life?
  • What is applicable to your children from these biblical characters?

b) What holes in your children’s training need to be plugged before they will be ready to be released? Consider drawing up a game-plan to fill the gaps. Include:

  • Priorities
  • Time frame
  • Techniques
  • Need for outside help

Brian Watts is Pastor of The King's Community Church and lives in Langley with his wife Rosalind.

© 1994-2005 THE KING'S Community Church