The most important family Psalm      

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Psalm 127:1–5

1 Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.

2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.

5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

If I could put one Psalm in every home it would be this one, Psalm 127. I have done many types of work to make a living. Some types of work require great physical strength and stamina; others require great mental skills and attention to detail. Some require different amounts of both physical and mental abilities. Each of these work types would send me home tired and hungry in need of R&R to get ready for the next day or the next shift. I have worked straight shifts and swing shifts, singles and doubles. But nothing I have ever done for work is near as wearying or as rewarding as parenting.


The first verse speaks of vain labor. “Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.” I have done jobs that had to be redone. The first time through the effort was in vain. That hurts. But when people spend their parenting years in vain only to look back at failure after failure, that is a far greater hurt, even a grief.


How do we avoid vain or worthless labor in parenting?   The Psalmist tells us to let the Lord build our house. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Before reading books or magazines on parenting, seek God’s wisdom. He is the ultimate Parent and every action He took toward His children was with perfect wisdom. God parented with love, with consistency and with discipline. He never pushed His children over the edge with His frustration and they never doubted His love or His fairness.


As parents, study this Psalm and the God behind it. Determine to spend your parenting labor accomplishing the good growth of your children who are like arrows in the hands of a mighty man. (Chew on that one for awhile.) If you have questions about parenting, come see Bobbi or me or have us for dinner and let’s look at parenting together.


Have a great day in the Lord,

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