I remember as a young girl first glimpsing the powerful truth that women fight differently as I read C.S. Lewis's classic The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Father Christmas was giving gifts to the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve in preparation for a long-awaited battle between the powers of good and evil. This confrontation came on the heels of a dreadful season of cold and barrenness. Now spring was exerting itself upon the winter season, and the awaited release was at hand. But first the good of the long-withheld Christmas was brought forth. Each gift was chosen according to the recipient's capacity and compassion. Peter was presented with a magnificent sword and an emblazoned shield. Then the daughters of Eve, Susan and Lucy, were given their gifts each in turn.
"Susan, Eve's daughter," said Father Christmas. "These are for you." and he handed a bow and a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn. "You must use the bow only in great need," he said, "for I do not mean you to fight in the battle. It does not easily miss. And when you put this horn to your lips and blow it, then, wherever you are, I think some kind of help will come to you."
There is some interesting symbolism in this passage. First, Susan receives a gift of a bow and a full quiver of arrows. It is interesting to note the Bible compares our children to arrows in hand: "As arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, so are the children of one's youth" (Ps. 127:4).
Women intimately partner with God as they bear and raise children. They are our seed and His heritage and reward. They are the ones we launch into the future. They live far beyond us with eyes that see up close what we see only far-off in the distance. Their ears will hear out loud things that were only sounded as a whisper in our lifetimes. They are to be carefully aimed and propelled, for they will not easily miss their marks. We are promised that, by raising them in the way they should go, they will be more inclined to hit the target of their destiny in God when they are grown: "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it" (Prov. 22:6, NLT).
For this reason, our children should never be held back by our fears. Necessary battles await them. They have the power to make peace or continue unresolved conflict. They alone hold fast and carry into the future what we have already won on their behalf. In battles of old, arrows were used as a form of advance attack. This means they were often released even before the two armies were in position to be engaged. Likewise, our children are sent into the future we may never see.
Lisa Bevere's authentic, passionate and witty teachings weave profound biblical truths with practical application. A New York Times best-selling author, her books are in the hands of millions worldwide. Lisa and her husband John, who's also a best-selling author and teacher, are the founders of Messenger International.
This article originally appeared at messengersinternational.org
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