Friday, September 8, 2017

Blessings Indeed

"Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."  -Psalm 127:5a
Children, they are a blessing indeed.  Solomon's Psalm seems so well forgotten in this day and age where technology, media, and people constantly guilt us with messages that "YOU time" is most important, what matters to YOU is what should hold ultimate value in your life, YOUR feelings rule above morality and truth.  While some of those, within reason, are not in and of themselves bad (boundaries, knowing who we are and whose we are, etc.), we need to keep in mind that our standard isn't ourselves.  The Bible is the living, breathing Word of God that we are blessed enough to have available at our every whim.  So I encourage you to read the entire Psalm that this verse originates.
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.  In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat--for He grants sleep to those He loves.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
Psalm 127

When you think about a builder, you may think about the final stages of construction and them pounding in that final nail to exhibit their accomplishments.  We need to take the time to consider that a builder is not solely a finisher.  A builder literally builds the house.  He researches his plans, where to buy the right size of materials, he researches the price needed to come in at budget (or hopefully under!), he researches the wood, the strength needed for the beams, etc.  Then he purchases the materials and secures a work force. A builder has the ability to start with a concept and create a masterpiece; so, too, with us when we are building our families.

We can birth or adopt or foster many kids in our house and claim that our quiver is full. We can bide our time with them and then fling them off as arrows into the world wishing the best for them--all the while completely oblivious to what life should look like as a true Christian. We can claim that they are a blessing without counting the cost and providing a stable environment rooted in the teachings of His Word.  We can help them to knowledgeably learn without ever truly understanding in their hearts.

When I hear the word 'vain', my mind drifts to vanity, a useless series of thoughts that ultimately lead to nothing, I did not know that the root of the word stems from devastation. The Hebrew word for vain is shav'/shav and stems from the word show'/showah/shoah.  Strong's Concordance defines it, in part, as follows:
to rush over; a tempest; by implication, devastation:-- desolate, destroy, destruction, storm, wasteness.
Strong's Concordance defines vain as:
shav' (vain) stemming from show' meaning that the uselessness is to be seen "in the sense of desolating; evil (as destructive), literal (ruin) or moral (especially guile); figurative idolatry (as false, subjective, uselessness (as deceptive, objective), false, lie lying, vain, vanity.
With that meaning in mind, let's journey back to the first couple lines in Psalm 127.
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.  In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat--for he grants sleep to those he loves.
It is no longer a passive setting in which we ought to read this.  It is very active with very real consequences to follow.  There is a personally invited destruction if we do not have the Lord as our builder; a secret acceptance, if you will, in the background of our homes encouraging a hidden life that does not silence evil, idolatry, destruction, or ruin.  If God is not our cornerstone, the house will crumble.  There has been an all too common thread among how my generation was raised to outwardly present a Christian life.  I cannot passively raise my children "in Christ" without expecting that I am inviting destruction and ruin upon my household.

Back to the builder, we remember that he starts with the small things. He starts with a piece of paper and slowly adds to his list things to do in order to build a house.  Like the man in Proverbs, it says:
"Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow." (Proverbs 13:11 NIV, emphasis mine) 
So also is this true with us as Christians, so also is this true with us as parents. We have our cornerstone, we have the Word, now we need to be diligent in training them from birth to truly follow the Lord AND His commands, to seek out in all they do to honor HIM and bring HIM glory.  No other goal should come higher than this in raising our kids.  If our children can fully grasp this concept, then morality naturally follows.

Let's start with a plan as well, the Bible, and begin to teach our children the real Truth.

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