The Bible offers what I like to think of as a blueprint for building a strong family. These principles are found in Psalm 127.
This short, five-verse psalm contains tremendous insight into parenting. In fact, Jewish rabbis teach that this psalm contains the pattern for training children to serve God.
Remember, when we see the word house in Scripture, we can often substitute the word family. Let's look closely at the wisdom found in Psalm 127 for building a family that serves God and stands firm against the enemy.
1. Be committed. The psalm begins by telling us that unless we build the house God's way, our effort is 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.
2. Rely on the Holy Spirit. Notice that Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the LORD build the house ... " and "unless 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 have given us a living Helper to guide and counsel us in the process.
3. Partner with your spouse. 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. If you're a single parent, you face unique challenges, but God offers unique help for single parents (see Isaiah 54:4-5).
4. Give your worries to the Lord. I want to encourage you right now to let go of any guilt you may have over parenting blunders. As a parent you will miss it sometimes and sorrow may come on you when you do. Wherever you may be as a parent, let go of the sorrow and regret. Give your worry to Jesus (see 1 Peter 5:6-8).
5. Be faithful stewards. Our children are the only things we can take with us to heaven. We'll never see our houses, cars, or money again once we leave this earth. But if our children know Christ, we will be with them for eternity. Our children really don't belong to us. They belong to Jesus. Parenting is stewardship.
6. 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. When our kids are trained to be arrows for God, they become an offensive weapon that will do damage to the kingdom of darkness (see Psalm 127:4-5).
Maybe you have children who are not serving Jesus. Maybe they were trained in the things of God but walked away from Him. Maybe you got saved later in life, and didn't train your children for Christ when they were young. If that's the case, remember this awesome promise God has given us:
"They said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and your household will be saved'" (Acts 16:31, MEV).
If you will claim this Scripture for your kids, it will release God to work on them—and anyone else in your family. God desires that everyone be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth. Your children are no exception.
Don't give up on them. Prayer changes things.
It's worth it. 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 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. The day is coming when they will humiliate the devil and his plan. When that happens, I promise it will make you very happy.
Adapted from Devil-Proof Your Family by Ken and Trudi Blount, copyright 2015, published by Charisma House. This book will show you how to partner with the Holy Spirit to raise godly children, build unity with your spouse, and position your marriage for blessing. To order your copy click here.