Parents are like the bow, children are like arrows

Being an avid cook, I am grateful to Google for consistently providing appetizing recipes; however, in this world of immorality and self-indulgence I wish if it could offer a recipe for a perfect and safe child. 🙄

The ever-increasing violent culture, cyber-bullying, internet addiction and so forth and terms like good, bad, failed, and successful parenting not only scare me often but also make me wonder: What exactly is parenting about? What is a good, bad or perfect child? What is a worthy parent? In this age of abundance, will I be able to provide enough for my child? What is a child apart from being a human offspring, an individual to nurture or a possession or an insurance plan? What nurturing exactly comprises of? Is goal of parenting just to raise a healthy, wealthy and successful child?

With such a quizzical mind I was giving parenting my best shot. Hence, I always genuinely wanted to pray God to take charge as I was counting on him. But then I came across this wonderful analogy: “Parents are like the bow, children are like arrows”. This got me thinking and gave hope to resolve my strange quandary about parenting.

Expanding it a bit moreAs archery is the art of propelling arrows with use of bow practiced by archer. Similarly, parenting is the skill of upbringing children with use of parents practiced by “God”.

What an apt analogy it is!!

Archery looks like child’s play, but for ancient archers, it was a matter of survival. Shooting an arrow with a bow seems a fun to do sport only until you actually hold the bow. Later, you realize how challenging it is to pull bowstring, and then hitting the bull’s eye feels like a dream with slim chances of getting realized.

Similarly, parenting though considered just a practice of reproducing and upbringing offspring; however, for the archer God, it is a practice to keep his kingdom of peace and humanity alive. Although a mother chasing around a child appears to be fascinating at neighbor’s door, the minute a little angel is laid into your arms, you realize evolving in life with an uninterrupted sense of accountability is not a joke💡

Earlier people used to rely on archer’s body strength to target arrows and nowadays they use scientific mechanism to draw the pulley. Likewise, earlier parents use to gain the strength required for raising children from the almighty God, and today parents use modern gadgets like laptops, television, mobile devices, etc. to train children.

Moving further, equating bow to parents: The riser, limbs and bowstring are three parts fundamental to bow’s operation. The two bent limbs of bow, upper and lower, can be equated to mother and father, who like bent limbs mold themselves as individuals for child’s sake. At the bonding of the two limbs is the riser, purposefully thicker so that archer can grip the bow and rest the arrow. Correspondingly, a strong and mature parental relationship shelters the child and receives God’s blessing to behold child safely.

Before the release, limbs store the potential energy. Then, archer’s muscles pull the bowstring, transferring the elasticity of the bent limbs to the arrow and propel it. On similar grounds, parent’s energy and vitality gets transmitted to the child through their connection with God; that not only pulls together parents but also helps them to push their limits and develop patience to release the child. Thus, bowstring and parent’s relationship with god can be justly equalized. Extended stretch-ability and flexibility of bowstring builds an effective bow, so that the arrow is more likely to fly high and bow is less likely to experience shock after the release. Similarly, healthier is the parent’s relationship with God, the more potent and resilient parents. Meanwhile, helping child plot an optimal life’s trajectory and helping parents comfortably handle the disengagement.

Moving further, equating arrow to children: Main parts of arrow are shaft, fletching and arrowhead. A strong and straight shaft is paramount; a warped arrow doesn’t fly straight. Likewise, child must have strength of character to fly straight. Moreover, increased arrow weight results in higher percentage of transferred potential energy to arrow. Consequently, lesser the bow’s energy converted into waste, quieter the bow and the lesser its vibration with the release.  Thus, more mature i.e. emotionally strong the child, better the knowledge acquisition, calmer the detachment.

Fletching helps arrow in flying straight, thereby, fletching can be equated to child’s relationship with God, being the only trustworthy assistance for anyone to adopt righteous path on this land of unhinged lifestyle.

Arrowhead provides the direction to arrow. So, arrowhead aptly symbolizes life’s mission that needs to be attached to child, a well-defined purpose that provides energy and motivation to get him going. An arrow without arrowhead is never complete; hence likely to fall while seeking target.

Few important conclusions to draw from the analogy and learn are:

  1. Arrows belong to archer; similarly, our children are not our children, they belong to God. Parents are just for raising children under God’s shadow.
  2. Arrow is not meant to be kept in the quiver, and if kept it deteriorates. Similarly, children are meant to live, explore and move towards their destination.
  3. Arrow is not like bow, besides it moves forward. Alike, child is not meant to be like a parent. God has a different plan for each one of us.
  4. Destiny of arrow is neither in the hands of archer nor the bow because blowing wind can ruin the shooting anytime; similarly destiny of child is unpredictable.
  5. Archery is the battle of archer, he takes the stress to focus and shoot and not the bow. Similarly, parenting is the battle of God. Parents just need to adapt and provide for the child till God is ready to release him.
  6. Bow needs to be strong, stable and in the hands of archer, as a slight instability can make a huge difference. Thus, parents need to be strong, stable and allow the archer god to focus and shoot the child.

Both archery and parenting are perplexing, as even the best archer can’t hit the center of the target every time. Yet the truth is bow has to play the role with integrity and can stay safe only in the hands of the archer. If parents will become weak or blow with wind and won’t be able to provide a strong handle for the archer “God”, he won’t be able to practice parenting successfully leading to fallen bows and arrows and dithered land.. 🙁

Just the way the archer use to keep the bowstrings under his hat to stop them from getting wet during battle. A wet bowstring use to be a disaster for him. Similarly, God is willing to keep his relationship with parents save from the darkness to fight the battle successfully; so that he can avoid the disaster of his world. Hence, we need to allow the archer god to comfortably fine tune his bow not only for noise reduction, bow longevity, etc. but also to launch a arrow that flies straight, as if the arrow doesn’t fly true, everything else is wasted no matter how well equipped or pretty the bow was. 😐

As archers shop around to purchase the best bowstring, as a weak bowstring can fall apart anytime, even at a crucial moment; hence, let us all spend some time to develop our relationship with God providing him with the best bowstring to win his battle… 🙂

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