Will the world change our children...or will our children change the world?
Julie Ferwerda has written One Million Arrows: Raising Your Children to Change the World, and I'm so glad she did! Back in January Julie contacted me and asked if I'd be willing to review One Million Arrows. The day the book arrived was the day one of our daughter's surgeries was to occur, and as we waited for that precarious procedure to wrap up, I began to read. I think I got about three pages in before I was reading whole paragraphs to my husband. A book with immediate impact on my life.
First of all, Julie lays out a compelling Biblical basis for raising our kids to impact our world. We are, after all, called to proclaim the Gospel, and there is no minimum age requirement. She asks, "Are we satisfied with happy, well-adjusted, even ambitious kids who happen to love God, or is there something more?" This is a great question we need to ask ourselves, particularly because there is solid evidence that the western church has made a habit of turning out kids who are content to be passionless, at best, about Christ and their faith.
Beautiful stories and examples of people, both old and young, who abandoned themselves to God in order to serve Him and make a lasting impact on the lives of others for the glory of God abound in One Million Arrows. I was so inspired by their fearlessness and passion, and I was reminded of how I want to inspire our children to seek the adventure that God has for them; a life out of the ordinary and anything but boring. Believe me, raising eight children isn't boring, either!
From page 54:
"Raising arrows isn't just another formula to follow or another list of to-dos. It's a mentality, a lifestyle, and a change of priorities that permeates the whole family's lives and schedules, centering everyone on God's priorities and plans. It's rejecting the status quo of settling into the patterns of this world (Romans 12:1-2) and asking ourselves every day, 'How can my family glorify God today? How can we train our kids to think about living for the big picture and not just for the here and now? How can we live for others instead of being out for ourselves?' And most importantly, 'How can I be the spiritual leader my children need today?'"
The answer to fulfilling the Great Commission is not one-size-fits all. Julie reminds us that we can go with our money, go with our talents, go with our prayers, and go with our children. But we need to have a mindset that we are here to impact a fallen world for Christ. That might mean you do actually get on a plane and land somewhere distant. You might begin a ministry to reach the lost in your home town. You might bring the world to your doorstep, as we have with exchange students. You might adopt a child who would otherwise live a hopeless life. You might raise money to support someone else's call to the mission field. Or more!
If you think perhaps you'd read such a book and feel as if you wouldn't know where to start, no worries. Julie has included many excellent resources. Books, websites, parenting resources, and orphan ministries are included and I think you might find something that tugs at your heart-- might be God nudging you in the direction He wants you to go!
Julie Ferwerda has a special place in her heart for orphans and has designated that all proceeds from the sale of One Million Arrows be used for international orphan ministry.