Tag Archives: Children

“What are arrows for but to shoot?” by Jim Elliot

“I do not wonder that you were saddened at the word of my going to South America. This is nothing else than what the Lord Jesus warned us of when He told the disciples that they must become so infatuated with the kingdom and following Him that all other allegiances must become as though they were not.

And He never excluded the family tie. In fact, those loves which we regard as closest, He told us must become as hate in comparison with our desires to uphold His cause. Grieve not, then, if your sons seem to desert you, but rejoice, rather, seeing the will of God done gladly.

Remember how the Psalmist described children? He said that they were as a heritage from the Lord, and that every man should be happy who had his quiver full of them. And what is a quiver full of but arrows?

And what are arrows for but to shoot? So, with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly–all of them, straight at the Enemy’s hosts.

‘Give of thy sons to bear the message glorious, Give of they wealth to speed them on their way, Pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious, And all thou spendest Jesus will repay.'”

–Jim Elliot, in Elisabeth Elliot, Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1958/2008), 182-183. Elliot wrote these words to his parents after telling them he was going to the mission field. He was martyred in Ecuador on January 8, 1956.

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“Show God to your children” by John Piper

“The most fundamental task of a mother and father is to show God to the children. Children know their parents before they know God. This is a huge responsibility and should cause every parent to be desperate for God-like transformation.

The children will have years of exposure to what the universe is like before they know there is a universe. They will experience the kind of authority there is in the universe and the kind of justice there is in the universe and the kind of love there is in the universe before they meet the God of authority and justice and love who created and rules the universe.

Children are absorbing from dad his strength and leadership and protection and justice and love; and they are absorbing from mom her care and nurture and warmth and intimacy and justice and love—and, of course, all these overlap.

And all this is happening before the child knows anything about God, but it is profoundly all about God. Will the child be able to recognize God for who He really is in His authority and love and justice become mom and dad have together shown the child what God is like?

The chief task of parenting is to know God for who He is in His many attributes—especially as He has revealed Himself in the person of Jesus and His cross—and then to live in such a way with our children that we help them see and know this multi-faceted God. And, of course, that will involve directing them always to the infallible portrait of God in the Bible.”

–John Piper, This Momentary Marriage (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009), 143-144.

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Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Family, Jesus Christ, John Piper, Parenting, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel