Father Must See the Importance of the Present
In Psalms 127:4, God draws a word picture for us to understand this. "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth." If you ever tried your hand at making arrows when you were a boy, you know that the time to make a well-balanced true flying arrow is before you shoot it, not afterward. And also, the time to aim an arrow is when you pull back on the string, not when the arrow has been let go. Because once the arrow is let go, it is gone.
The illustration is not perfect because often you can run after an arrow, improve it, and shoot again more carefully. But we can only raise children once. We can't go back and do it again. The time to shape straight, balanced, sharp arrows is now-before they are gone.
Anyone who has raised children will also tell you that the time to do this is short. Children are born; soon they are of school age; suddenly they are teenagers; before long they are gone. Of course we hope to influence our children when they are grown. Usually we can. But remember, how well we prepared them when they were still at home affects our ability to help them later. If we are careless, negligent, or delinquent when they are young, they will reject our later concern and help much more quickly than if they realized we tried our best while they were growing up.
There is still more to learn from the arrow. It has to with the future.