Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
While building a dwelling is the literal meaning here, a house could also refer to a household or family, connecting verses 1-2 to verses 3-5. Those who build a house must “labor” and those who guard a city must actively “watch over” it. The point of verses 1-2 is that such efforts are worthless if they are not carried out in faith, trusting God to bless the work and make it beneficial
These verses call us to consider the goal of our parenting. Are we parenting unto the glory of God, or are we working for selfish gain? The only way to be confident that our efforts in raising our children are worthwhile is to trust the Lord and seek to honor Him. Prayer should take precedent in our routines because it sets the tone in our home. Parents are called to take charge in the home and live out the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 before their children, to help them see and know the Lord.
Psalm 127:5 envisions parents standing before their enemies alongside children whom they have raised to faithfully follow the Lord. Being a faithful parent is incredibly difficult and incredibly important. Therefore, raising children by faith to follow the Lord gives parents confidence in the face of opposition.
- How do we balance trusting the Lord to guide and grow our families with the responsibility to parent diligently?
- How can you let your children know that you see them as a gift? Why is it important for your children to know that they are valued? What can they learn about God through this?
- Make Psalm 127 your prayer today.