The Secret of Psalm 127:
A Critique of Our Anti-Kid Culture
19 Kids and Counting has been on television since 2008 so to many this is old news, yet the young couple having a conversation behind me as I left a store recently reminded me of how starkly this family sticks out against the fabric of our modern age.
Now, don’t worry, this article is not going to tell you to have lots of kids.
But I do want to remind you of a fact: the world is telling you something that is opposite of what God has spoken. God says that children are a heritage from the Lord. The world says children will spend every last dollar in your bank account, infringe on your freedom, and generally cause you to do lame things like watch “Barbie Christmas” in May.
What a stark difference in narratives.
I want to encourage you today, whether you are a parent in the natural or the spiritual, to hear the voice of God.
Let’s look at Psalm 127 (NKJV) in its entirety:
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
There is much to discover in this Psalm, but I want to draw your attention to the line before verse 1 — the inscription, “A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.”
This Psalm falls in the “Songs of Ascent” portion found in chapters 120-134. Basically these were the lyrics to songs sung by families on pilgrimage on their way to Jerusalem. Let me say that again: this was their road trip music. These specially chosen Psalms gave them strength for their journey. It kept their eye on the prize: getting to the Holy City.
How funny is it that God included these words of wisdom to them? Perhaps by this point they were all tired and cranky and needed to be reminded that those whiny kids who wanted to be carried instead of walking are a gift from God. This was their “Cat’s in the Cradle” don’t-miss-out-on-the-now song.
No family is perfect, we all go through rough seasons as we participate in each other’s life. But God has provided the perfect lyrics to help us through the good and bad days.
Some days it is easy to focus on the fact that children are a gift from God. They come to you with a sweet face and a picture they colored just for you. Other days, either by our dizzying pace of life or apple juice spilled on the carpet, we forget.
“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” – C.S. Lewis