The Bible offers what I like to think of as a blueprint for building a strong family. Psalm 127 contains tremendous insight into parenting. In fact, Jewish rabbis teach that this psalm contains the pattern for training children to serve God. When we see the word “house” in Scripture, we can often substitute the word “family.” We are going to look closely at the wisdom found in Psalm 127 for building a family that serves God and stands firm against the enemy.
The psalm begins by telling us that unless we build the house God’s way, our effort is in vain. The word “vain” is used three times in the first two verses of this psalm. Do you think God is trying to get something across to us? If we try to raise our children without Him, we are in trouble because our efforts will be in vain.
It is possible to work hard to build something and have that work produce nothing. That’s what it means to labor in vain. The effort is useless. It will not produce fruit or longevity. God’s way is the way of blessing. It will produce fruit in the long run. But it is not always the easy way.
When you are living by God’s Word, you are swimming upstream, and it will not be easy. Sometimes it may even look like living according to God’s Word is not working. But if you want to protect your children from the enemy’s traps, the most important thing you can do is make a determined commitment to live God’s way and not waver.
Ungodly Voices Talking to Your Children
There are many voices crying out to our children—on TV and social media, at school, from their friends—and those voices are not always easy to resist. The only way you can teach your children to follow God’s ways when it seems everyone around them is doing the opposite is if you are unequivocal and unyielding in your commitment to follow God. The devil is unflinching in his determination to teach your children his lies, and you have to be just as steadfast in your stand for Christ. You have to be tough.
The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. If you will make the commitment to serve God wholeheartedly, He will help you live out that commitment.
Notice Psalm 127:1 says, “Except the Lord build the house” and “Except the Lord guards the city.” This indicates that we must have God’s help. God has given us His Word as the blueprint for training our children, but He also has given us a living Helper to guide and counsel us in the process (John 14:16-17). He is the Holy Spirit! If you are going to build a family who loves and follows God, you must learn to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Thank God for the help of the Holy Spirit. We are not doing this alone. We have to do our part to raise our children, but we need to make much of the Lord who is with us to help us build our house. Make a big deal about the power of God at work in your family. Pray about the challenges you face. Pray with your kids. Let them see that, as parents, you are trusting in God and honoring Him in your house. Invite Jesus into your house daily. He wants to live there, but He must be welcomed in.
Don’t Argue in Front of the Children
According to ancient Jewish wisdom, the builder in Psalm 127:1 represents the father in the family, and the watchman represents the mother. The husband is the one who leads in constructing the house, but the wife is the watcher.
By God’s design, the father and mother have separate and distinct roles to help build the family. But the mother and father are to bring their unique strengths together and work as a team to train their children.
As parents, your agreement is very important because kids will try to “divide and conquer.” Make it clear that you will not allow this kind of behavior. If you don’t agree with the way your spouse is handling something, don’t argue about it in front of your children. Go behind closed doors and discuss the situation until you come to a unified decision.
Truly Believe Psalm 127:3
Psalm 127:3 tells us, “Look, children are a gift of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Our children are the greatest reward we can receive in this life. Our children really don’t belong to us. They belong to Jesus. I wrote recently: “Parenting is stewardship. We are caring for them and training them so that we can return them to the rightful owner, their Father God.” We only lease our children for a while, but our parenting can make the difference in where they spend eternity. This is something we need to take very seriously.
Parenting is serious business. It is a set of skills you can develop as you study resources like this one. But I also believe God gives parents an anointing, or a spiritual gifting, to train and love their own children. There is a longing in children’s hearts to learn from their parents. Nobody carries more weight with the words they speak than parents. In the same way, nothing can hurt like the destructive words of parents. Be an example of God’s unconditional love and determine to plant God’s Word into your child’s heart from a young age.
Develop a Warrior Mindset
Psalm 127:4-5 says: “As arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; he shall not be ashamed when he speaks with the enemies at the gate.” In this verse, God likens children to arrows. What is an arrow? It is a weapon.
You have to come to grips with the fact that you are not training them in neutral territory. You are doing this in a war zone. This world is hostile territory. You are being actively opposed. You will be shot at.
Statistics tell us that every 24 hours in America, 2,899 babies are aborted, 2,857 students drop out of high school, 4,028 children are arrested, 4,408 babies are born to unmarried mothers, and about 2,800 teens abuse prescription drugs for the first time. In 1960, roughly 85 percent of children under the age of 18 were living in two-parent homes. By 2012, that number decreased to 64 percent and continues to trend downward. These statistics point to the fact that things aren’t looking up in our society. They are trending downward.
We have to develop a warrior mindset. We must be military minded, like we’re training soldiers to go to war. We have to be very deliberate in training our kids. The devil is serious about taking them down. He fires real bullets.
As parents, we need to be sensitive to direct our children to their unique interests. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see what God put inside them.
At the end of Proverbs 22:6, the verse says, “When he is old he will not depart from it.” This tells us that if we train our children properly, following the pattern we’ve discussed, they won’t depart from that training when they get old.
What About the Prodigals?
You may be thinking, “But that’s not true! I know people who trained their children, and still their kids are not serving God.” This verse is not saying our children will never have issues or never stray from God. The phrase “when he is old” is actually referring to old age. This is talking about somebody at the end of life. Maybe a child has turned away from God. Maybe he has been away from Him for a while. But this verse is saying the godly training he received as a child will continue to work on him.
I believe that training is like a hook on the inside of them. Our children are human. They will be tempted and maybe even give in to temptation. But the training you invest in them will continue to pull them back. It never leaves them. They may resist, but it will work on them all the days of their life.
This doesn’t mean if you train them in the things of God, they will never turn away from God. Everybody has a free will. God won’t make anybody do anything. But He will pull on people and love them until the day they die. Training is part of the hook God will use to pull our children back if they stray.
Training your children is work. Let’s just be honest. That’s why a lot of parents don’t do it. But it is worth it. It will produce good fruit for you. If you will plant and nurture the seed of your children, in time, harvest is guaranteed. Harvest time is happy time.
Parents, keep your eyes on the prize. It seems like childhood lasts forever when you are in the middle of it, but life is short. Take the time to invest in your children. There is a day coming when they will humiliate the devil and his plan. When that happens, I promise it will make you very happy.
Ken and Trudi Blount have over 30 years of experience in ministry, traveling and speaking in churches across the country and overseas. The Blounts have produced a multitude of resources and teachings, including their monthly CD partner resource, Relative.
For more study…
Victorious families don’t happen by accident. Learn how to use spiritual weapons to build up your family in Ken and Trudi Blount’s Devil-Proof Your Family: Exposing Satan’s Strategy Against Your Family (Charisma House). Find this book at amazon.com, christianbook.com or anywhere Christian books are sold.