I don’t care what you say, it is indeed a happy Monday. But you don’t have to take me word for it…just ask Jamie Grace!
Now that we have that out of the way, please look at this picture. That is my sweet little dog in all his quirky magnificence. I can’t remember if we’ve had this conversation, but his name is Lord Stewart Rigsby, he is a golden retriever mutt, he was rescued from a junk yard, and he is the love of my life. (For this season. Still waiting on God for the right biped.) But, when I was getting ready to write this post, I thought, “Oh I have got to use that picture of Rigsby.” It totally fits with today’s conversation, because I want to ask you a question this morning:
What do you take seriously?
This post is going to be very relevant to any parents reading. Which may make some of you wonder, “How is it that a woman who has no children can be speaking to parents?” To which I wonder, “Didn’t you see the picture of my dog?” But I digress. You see, as much as this post is relevant for parents, it is applicable, relevant, and good for anyone who has any interaction with any children ever. So…most of us.
I was reading in my Bible the other morning and I came across Psalm 127. It is a very short little Psalm tucked away in the book. I pay close attention to words. I love them, and the fewer words you can use to communicate something to me, that draws my attention (think “Jesus wept”). Psalm 127 has five verses and only 108 words (and yes, I counted). Since its so short, I’m just going to share all of it with you here if that’s okay!
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
-Psalm 127:1-5, ESV (4 & 5, emphasis added)
So I’m reading this at like…seven o’clock in the morning and I find myself thinking, “Huh? This is what You would say to me today? As a single childless woman?” So I start grabbing Bibles with footnotes and study guides and commentaries and I go down the rabbit hole until I arrive at the feet of my favorite human teacher: Warren Wiersbe. I open his commentary, beginning reading about verse 3-5 and immediately…my eyes were opened.
Wiersbe says, “It does no good to build and guard our houses and cities if there are no future generations to inherit them and keep the family, city, and nation going”. He goes on to discuss the importance of children in Jewish culture. He highlights the fact that it is the job of the parents and adults around to bring up these children in truth and strength. He asks, if we don’t teach them to love the truth, then who will continue the to “fight the battles against lies and evil” after we are gone?
This is the point where God began to speak to me. Why, I wondered, would these two sets of thoughts be paired together in 127? A reminder of God’s centrality to life…and a blessing for children. This particular Psalm, is actually a Psalm of Solomon who believers recognize as a wise man. So what were God and Solomon doing in writing 127?
I would argue, that they want to know…what do you take seriously?
We are reminded that God is the source of all things needed for life in verses 1-3: shelter, community, food, and sleep. Then in 4-5, He is asking if, after our reminder from Him, we are reminding our children. Do they know what is important to God? What is important to us? Is what they see as important to us…what we want them to see? Have we taught them what to take seriously? Because one day, it will be there turn to teach a generation what is important, what should be taken seriously; and if we continue to fall short, the church will continue to fall down.
Let us take our God-job seriously
Let us love each other.