For my 17th birthday I asked for only one thing… an archery set.
I discovered that there were two kinds of bows. First there’s the compound hunting bow, and second there’s a tall, simple recurve. I discovered most girls my age pulled 15 to 20 pounds on their bowstring… not bad, but not too impressive either.
I wanted a challenge. I began building endurance in my arms and shoulders.
I read that most boys my age drew 50 to 75 pounds on the bowstring. Immediately I knew which kind of bow I wanted, and with that goal in mind I stepped up my workouts with a new motivation. When my birthday came, my dad took me a special date and bought the bow. We settled on a takedown recurve bow, with 50 pounds draw weight. It was the perfect challenge, and it took me another two months of working out to pull it back to the full length (which, I might add, is half of my body weight!).
During my first archery lesson with my dad, I had an interesting revelation. I noticed that it was easier to draw the weight of the bowstring when I focused on aiming; but it was harder to aim when I focused on pulling the weight. I thought this made an interesting correlation for you parents so I’d like to share my thoughts…
I had an idea of what I wanted, and I set a standard...
As a parent, you need to have in mind at least some basics of what you want for your child. A relationship with God, loving family relationships, a good education…to name a few.
I put my heart into it…
and did as best as I could to get my body in the best condition. Put your heart into your parenting, don’t default to auto-piloting through life. Set your heart and mind to gaining strength from God to let Him accomplish something amazing through your family.
I did ask for some advice…
on exactly what I could do. My parents, my sisters (who thought the idea was pretty odd before they saw that I was serious), and even the person who worked at the shop where I got my bow. He had a hard time understanding that I was the one who was getting the weapon, and not my dad. As a parent, realize you won’t have all the answers. Look around, ask for advice. Read. Seek. Wise counsel is never more than a prayer away.
Plan complete! (Even though it took another two weeks after I got my bow to be able to shoot it.). I know learning to shoot a straight arrow is small in comparison to parenting, but my mom agreed the analogy was accurate!
As parents, you too need to be thinking about your child’s purpose, and how to reach that goal. Just remember what I learned my first day shooting my bow– it’s much easier to pull back all of the raw, heavy weight (think about the full weight of responsibility for raising a child), when you’re focused on aiming directly at the target. The target, in this case, represents the intended goal for your child. The wide rings of the target would include the bigger purposes of knowing God, being a light for him, and the smaller bullseye would represent your child fulfilling their intended purpose as they were designed by their creator to do.
And the arrows that I shot… all hit the target! For my first lesson that’s very good! The arrow that I focused on the most, however, hit the very center!
Stay focused in your parenting…and your little arrows will hit their mark!
One of my favorite verses is Romans 15:20:
And so I have made it my AIM to preach the gospel…