I was meditating on Psalm 128 recently. It is definitely one of my favorite psalms. The picture it paints is one of familial bliss, order, and victory. Yes indeed, victory. We all know that the family is God’s basic building block for society. Strong families are the fabric of strong churches. And strong churches are the backbone of a godly country. And so, a family that is walking in unity seeking the face of the Lord will be not only blessed, but used of God as the church universal continues to strive for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
As I type this article, I can hear soft singing coming from the kitchen. The sound of psalms emanating from around the stove is a common occurrence in our home. And it always brings a smile to my face and warms my heart. Visitors often comment on how refreshing it is to hear feminine voices praising the Lord while they prepare to serve the family.
My daughters are preparing a breakfast feast for us today. Stacy recently procured some fresh maple syrup from a local farmer. A friend of ours raises hogs, and has given us a few pounds of organic bacon. One of our sons has a small chicken business going, and has brought in eggs from the henhouse. I can already smell the aroma of French Toast wafting through the house. It will be a great feast.
As our family gathers around the table each day, we begin by singing the words of the Doxology. Then, I lead us in prayer, thanking the Lord for His bountiful blessing represented in the gift of food and fellowship.
I love these times. It is indeed a joy to look around the table and see my wife and children enjoying, not only the provisions, but, also, the unity God has given to us as a family. This is just a small expression of the promises we see in Psalm 128. My wife has indeed been a “fruitful vine” and she, in many respects, represents the heart of our home. Stacy is more than a participant in activities that make up our home, she empowers them! I may come up with some ideas from time to time, but if it were not for her skills at organization and execution, my ideas would be daydreams. But she can take ideas and turn them into reality.
And we see our children exhibit the qualities of the olive tree. Olive trees develop deep roots that sustain them in times of challenge and hardship. They are durable; and able to bear harsh conditions and still thrive. This kind of spiritual character is what we are striving to instill in our children. We are working to see them firmly established in the faith, knowing God will be with them in all the seasons of their lives. They are also made to multiply. Trees make trees. And our goal is to see these trees produce other faithful trees as God calls and leads. I see this faith growing in them as we sit at our table.
And God has used our table to be a place of evangelism. Many a visitor has commented on the atmosphere and order of our home. These discussions have allowed us to point the inquirer to Jesus. In a way, this is also a fulfillment of Psalm 128. As the Gospel is taught, and as hearts are turned, we see the Kingdom of God expand. Peace indeed does come to Jerusalem.
I look around my table and realize I am indeed a blessed man.
Yet, I am also keenly aware that the relationships we have in our home are not enjoyed in many families today. In America, the biblical concept of family is under increasing attack, from outside and from within. There are many worldviews competing for the hearts of all members of the family, parents and children. And, even in Christian circles, the reality of Psalm 128 is seldom found.
So can Psalm 128 be a reality for Christian families today?
I say yes. And I do so because I believe God’s Word to be true; and I have seen it happen in our own family. The Lord took the broken and confused, and gave us a vision of hope and healing. While the road to this sort of blessing has much to do with obedience, it has nothing to do with a formula. It is not “five easy steps to the happy home” or “just add water” Christianity. Psalm 128 becomes reality when a man or woman embraces the first part of the Psalm, and starts to live it. The Psalm starts out with the phrase, “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord and who walks in His ways.”
God’s blessings do indeed fall upon those who seek His face, those who strive to honor Him, those who fear Him. As we determine to walk in His ways, His blessings will fall upon us, and upon our family. There is harmony and unity, and a united focus and purpose that come from truly following the Lord.
When a husband strives to sacrificially love his wife as Christ loves the church, and when a wife seeks to honor her husband as the church should Jesus, a house becomes a home. There is an aroma of godliness that radiates from such a union, and is attractive to all. First it draws in the children, then extended family and friends take notice and are intrigued.
You see, God’s blessings are not given for us to greedily hoard; they are for us to share with others. Our goal should be to see God’s Kingdom come, His will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven. Fear God and walk in His ways. Show those little olives plants round about your table that you believe what you’re teaching them. As you commit to glorifying God, the spiritual blessings in your family will naturally shine, and the scent of Heaven drifting through your home will draw even the most stubborn unbeliever.