1 Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil Ė for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of oneís youth.
5 Happy, blessed and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries [in gatherings] at the [cityís] gate. Ė Psalm 127:1-5 AMP
I read this Psalm every night before I go to bed. Itís a reminder of how I canít do anything without God. Itís worthless for me to work without Him in my life. And itís crazy for me to think that I can raise a family without Him as the Foundation.
I can truthfully say that I tried on several occasions to build my family without Godís help. I worked hard. Marlo and I had children. We built a large house on a hill and expanded our business. But God was nowhere to be found in my heart. I thought, ďHey, Iím a smart guy. I can do anything.Ē That wasnít confidence in God speaking; it was arrogance and pride.
Sure, after I was saved, things were different. We hung Christian paintings all over our home. But I made a gargantuan mistake. I tried to add Jesus to my foundation without making Him the Foundation. My foundation was far from solid; in fact it had several cracks and imperfections as well as sins that were still hidden. It wasnít until the past few years that I completely tore down that which I was building upon and started over. God is now my Foundation.
Most Christians, if put on the spot in a church or spiritual setting, will undoubtedly say that God is first in their life. If that describes you, let me ask you another question. If God is first, is your family second? Or are you one of those Christians who are so bent on sharing your faith and Scripture with others that the only time your family sees you is at dinner? Or are you so obsessed with work or activities outside of your family that you only see them at mealtime? If you do see them at dinner, is the television on? How is watching dinner in front of a television spending time with your family? I can assure you of one thing: if this describes you and you shun your family to share your faith or follow other obsessions, your witness in the end will be ineffective because you are not living it. You are not building your family on Godís Foundation: youíre just doing things your way.
Marlo and I have four wonderful children. They are full of life and are truly a blessing from the Lord. I have to admit there have been times when I have failed them. I have not stood up for them when they were unable to defend themselves. I am not one of those ďmy child is perfectĒ parents who is ready to stand up for them if they do something wrong (Iím sure all of you know at least one parent like that, if you are not one yourself). If our children do something wrong, they know there are consequences for their actions. But there have been instances when my children have been verbally abused by adults and I did nothing to put a stop to it. I was not there to provide something they needed. Then good old Paul slapped me pointblank in the face with this little tidbit.
8 If anyone fails to provide for his relatives, and especially for those of his own family, he has disowned the faith [by failing to accompany it with fruits] and is worse than an unbeliever [who performs his obligation in these matters]. Ė 1 Timothy 5:8 AMP
Ouch! I didnít want to disown the faith, but I did. We provide for our family by giving them food, shelter, and clothing. But your children are different and need more provided for them than just lifeís necessities. They also need love, nurturing, encouragement, and correction (thatís right, they are not perfect). It is our duty to train and teach them how to live with Godís help. More importantly, we need to teach them how to live a life for God. Like todayís Psalm, if they go into the world on their own accord and try things their way, it will be a waste of time.
Do you have a family? How are you building your family? Do you view your children as a blessing and never a burden? Is God your Foundation? Remember what the Psalmist said: build all you want, but if God is not your focal point, all your work is in vain. Whether God is in your efforts or not, your family will be the first ones to feel its effects. Trust me, from personal experience I can tell you that if you make God your focus, you family will be more blessed than you ever imagined. The choice is all yours.