The blessed quiver
Psalm 127:3-5 tells us of the high value God tells parents to place on their children. It says they are a heritage and a reward from Him. They are like arrows in the hand of a mighty man, and a father should find happiness in having them. Being a couple that could not have children was a difficult thing to bear in the days of the Bible. Abraham and Sarah were so desparate they did not wait for the promise of God (Gen 16). Rachel was so desparate she told her husband, "Give me children or else I die (Gen 30:1)." Hannah prayed so desparately she could not even speak (1Sam 1).
When Jacob confronted his brother Esau whom he had not seen in 20 years, Esau asked who all these people were with him. Jacob answered, "The children which God hath graciously given thy servant (Gen 33:5)." Joseph had not seen his father Jacob in many years. When Jacob met his 2 children and asked who they were, Joseph said, "They are my sons whom God hath given me in this place (Gen 48:9)." Paul wrote about the relationship between Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the church in Hebrews 2. In verse 13 he quotes this theme by saying, "Behold I and the children which God hath given me."
Parents should cherish their children. They grow up so fast and every moment spent together is precious. Someone wisely said that we can only ensure quality time by having quantity time. We do not determine what quality time is. They do. Parents are given the awesome responsibility and privilege of teaching their children. God told 2 angels He knew Abraham would do this (Gen 18:19). He also made it part of what Jews esteem as one of the most important passages of the Bible (Deut 6:7-9). Malachi prophesied that before the coming of the Messiah God would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers (Mal4:6). Prophecies sometimes have a dual or even multiple time reference. As we get closer to the second coming of the Lord, we need God to revive the Biblical family. Parents do not have to be perfect, but they need to show their children that they are loved, and they need to train them in the way they should go (Prov 22:6).
You may be reading this thinking it does not apply to you because you have no children. If you may have children in the future, it does. Good parenting does not happen by accident, especially for those whose parents did not do their job well. You need to be prepared and have already made the decision to take your job seriously. A great lie parents like to say is "children don't come with an instruction book." Yes they do. It is called the Bible, especially the book of Proverbs. They Bible is full of accounts of examples of parenting we can learn from as well as direct advice to parents. God created the family as the foundation of society. He is wise and knows how it should be done. He did not leave us clueless for such an important task. Always take God's advice over man's when they contradict.
You may think this does not apply to you because you will not have children. Hebrews 2:13 was written about Jesus Christ who never married or had any children. Yet He is the Father of more children than anyone in history. He is our Father by creation, and all born again Christians are His specially adopted children. You can be a spiritual parent by being a leader of others, a teacher, a mentor, and an influence. You can have many children and they don't have to be physically young. The apostle John wrote to Christians under his leadership in the later part of his life, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth (3Jn 4)."