IS THE LORD BUILDING YOUR HOUSE?
by Wayne S. Walker
“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” (Psalm 127:1). Given the context of the succeeding verses (“children are a heritage from the LORD…,” v. 3), it seems to me that the “house” of this verse is not so much referring to a physical structure as it is to the family. The Lord wants to help us build our families so that they will be founded upon His will and thus accomplish His purposes. August 3, 2009, would have been my mother’s eightieth birthday had she been living. She died of cancer in 1994 just a few months shy of being 65, though my father is still living and will be 82 later this month (Sept., 2009). I am not by nature a “brooding” type of person, but for some reason or other, the older I get the more I seem to spend time remembering things from the past, so I happened to stop and think a little bit about my mother and my growing up years on August 3. My mother was certainly not perfect, but she was not ashamed of being a child of God and tried to serve the Lord.
Both of my parents became Christians early in life. In fact, I still have the little New Testament that the preacher who baptized my mother gave her following her obedience to the gospel. I have been in the church building where my mother, her sisters, and my grandparents attended when she was young. After his family was grown, my Grandfather Workman later decided to become a gospel preacher and was an important influence on my life. On the other side, my Grandfather Walker, who died when I was just two years old, was apparently not a religious man and wanted to keep my grandmother and father from attending church services, but they managed to go anyway. I do not know exactly when my father was baptized into Christ, but I do remember that my grandmother told me that after my parents had married, my father was in charge of the Bible classes at the little country church where he had been baptized and where I remember first attending when we lived on the Walker family farm.
Unfortunately, after we moved off the farm closer to town when I was five and started attending the congregation there, my father became dissatisfied with something and quit attending. Many people, including myself, have tried to talk with him through the years, but to no avail. Of course, he was and still is a good, moral man, and from him I learned such things as a proper work ethic and scrupulous honesty. However, it was my mother who had to take charge of our religious upbringing. She made sure that we attended church services, studied the Bible at home, and learned important spiritual principles. I remember one time saying something about how I hated my brother, and she made me write 1 John 4:20 one hundred times (look the passage up and you’ll see why). Godly parents want to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Unfortunately, there are other influences in this world that can sometimes draw them away, and we may not always be completely successful. But unless we first make the Lord the true builder of our homes, we shall surely fail.