Dear Moms and Dads:
It’s only five verses. But Psalm 127 provides a reminder, a warning, a promise, an iconic image on which every parent should meditate, and an endorsement for having lots of kids.
Let’s read it together. Even better, stop right now, go find your kids and read it with them.
Unless the Lord builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.
Psalm 127 NLT
The reminder A home without God is not a home at all. It’s a collection of people who happen to be related living under the same roof. Also, a community (or nation) that turns its back on God is vulnerable to attack by the dark forces of the world. If you invite him, the Lord will build your home. The Lord will protect your city.
The warning Fifty times per year, we need to put in a good solid week of work and then trust God to provide. What good is a home, if you are never home? If your job consistently pulls you away from your family, then something might need to change. Consider a new job. A smaller home. Different career goals. Also, start to apply the 4th Commandment to your life. The idea of setting aside one day a week to recharge and reprioritize is a pretty solid life strategy.
The promise Kids are not a burden. They’re a blessing. A reward. Expect joy and you just may get it!
The iconic image The image of a warrior is not just for dads. I know quite a few moms who fiercely protect and fight for their kids. Mothers and fathers need to work together to prepare every member of the family for battle. To sharpen your arrows. To hone them straight and true. To help each child find just the right target matching their skills and giftedness. To hold them close to your heart. And let them fly. When you’re feeling powerless, meditate on the image of the archer described in Psalm 127. That’s God’s design for parents.
The endorsement How full is your quiver? I’m on record endorsing big families. In Psalm 127, God does too! Good moms and dads (like you) who raise responsible kids should continue to welcome kids into their home through birth, adoption, fostering, or even taking in nieces, nephews, or grandkids who need a secure foundation for a season of life.
I totally understand there all kinds of reasons why one or two children (or none) might be the right amount for some families. But don’t stop having children because you can’t afford it or because you heard the earth is too crowded. God promises his provision. What's more, the kids growing up in your home will not be adding to the problems of the world, they will be part of the solution.
All that to say . . . mom, dad . . . be the steadfast archer.