"Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, 'Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!' So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened… So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand." (I Samuel 13:19-20, 22a)
This passage from Scripture tells about a time when Israel was fighting for its very existence. Nations on every side were attacking them and trying to wipe them out. So I find it quite odd that the Israelites submitted to having the Philistines be their blacksmiths. Especially when the day of battle came and the Israelites had plenty of plowshares, axes and sickles, but no swords and spears. A plowshare is a good implement for farm work, but in battle a sword is the most useful!
Why would you let your enemy be your weapons manufacturer?
That’s a question we ought to be asking ourselves today. Modern society is in a similar situation. Christians, engaged every day in spiritual warfare, think nothing of sending their children to the pagans for education. They even allow the pagans to set the standards for education. And so we are now finding ourselves in the same predicament as Israel was – no proper weapons in the day of battle. The pagans have done a good job of creating “worker bees” for the state (sort of like making axes and plowshares), but they are actively against training your children to be weapons of godly warfare.
“Wait a minute,” you might say. “That Scripture was talking about weapons. You’re talking about children. That’s two different subjects!”
But I would like to remind you of another Scripture passage. “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth.” (Psalm 127:4) As you may have noticed, arrows are weapons. So God Himself says that one of our weapons against the devil’s tactics is the godly children we raise up. But how can we raise up such weapons of righteousness if we allow the enemy to be our “weapons manufacturer?”
At this point, you may be thinking, “Well, we already homeschool, so that admonition doesn’t apply to us.” If you have taken your children out of the pagan education system, good for you! But that’s just the first step.
What about your curriculum? Is it from a Christian worldview? People often think that if it’s in print, it must be right. Therefore, a non-Christian text can consciously or subconsciously influence your children’s thinking by the simple fact that it seems truthful because it’s in a book. It’s not hard to find good Christian textbooks. Go for the good stuff!
What about your entertainment? It doesn’t do much good to teach your children that lying, stealing, swearing and immorality are unbiblical if you let them read books or watch movies that are saturated with these activities. Entertainment is one of the most powerful methods of persuasion since it is often a subconscious influence. Make sure your children have plenty of good books to read. And when you do watch a movie, preview it first to check the content and worldview.
What about your friends? Your children’s peer group can have a powerful influence on their lives. A child lacks judgment to evaluate his friends’ actions. If mommy says one thing and his buddy says another, oftentimes the buddy’s view is considered the cool one. Why let your children get their value system from bad influences? Find good, godly friends of all ages for your children.
Remember, simply stopping the “Philistines” from being our “weapons manufacturer” does not solve the problem. It’s just the first step. The second step is to become proactive in manufacturing “weapons” ourselves. We can’t simply stop the bad books, friends, movies and academics. We need to actively replace these things with good books, friends, movies and academics. We need to talk with our children about how to lead godly lives. This takes a great deal of prayer for wisdom as our culture constantly bombards families with anti-Christianity.
As you fashion the arrows God has given you, think ahead to the spiritual battles they will be engaged in. Remember that the "Philistines" want us to be making axes and plowshares. But God intends for us to create weapons for His glory.
Written by Heather Sheen