This morning, as every Sunday morning, we have gathered here in this place on purpose. Each of us is here intentionally. Today is a special day set aside to honor special people in our lives—our mothers—but for many of us that can bring painful thoughts as well as pleasant ones. Some of us have experienced a loss that this day causes us to remember—some of us have never experienced the feelings of joy and well-being that can be a part of family life. God knows all about our hurts and struggles. Take hope! He has comfort and encouragement for us wherever we are in our journey through this challenging life in which God has placed us.
Whole and healthy families have 6 common characteristics and this morning we will look at what they are and how they can be a healthy part of our lives.
Originally preached Sunday, May 13, 2018
We are going to read a song together this morning—a psalm actually—and then unlock its meaning for our lives.
Unless the LORD builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 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.
This song is found in a section of the Psalms that God’s people would sing as they traveled to Jerusalem for their special festivals. It was called “A Pilgrim Song of Solomon,” which some of your Bibles tell you. The travelers would sing it together as they walked along the road to a special time of worship. They knew all the words and sang them together every year as they anticipated a time of feast and celebration. This morning, we are going to focus on the first verse: Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city the watchmen stand guard in vain.
“In vain” means it is completely useless—pointless to even try.
Q: If everything depends on God, what is the use of trying? In verse 1 the point is not that we should not do our best, but that our efforts mean NOTHING apart from God. People can achieve worldly riches, fame, and a sense of security, only to find it is all pointless, unless God has been directing them. Let’s look at Deuteronomy 8:17-18 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
Is this Psalm 127 a promise that anyone who trusts in God will have a “perfect” family? Unfortunately, no. what it DOES promise, however, is a foundation upon which to build and guidelines by which to make decisions and handle difficulties. The family with God as its foundation will offer a solid, stable, and loving home. And it is never too late. This kind of foundation can always be laid, even under an existing house. The structure can then be remodeled on the firmest possible footing. Whether you grew up in a perfect family or struggled to find your place, there are some things we can learn this morning about healthy families.