Except the Lord Build the House, By Rod Halliburton

“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalm 127:1). Various people have applied this passage to the building of a temple, such as that in the days of Solomon or Zerubbabel, or the building of a physical dwelling, such as a house. But when we look at Psalm 127:1 along with the entire 127th Psalm, it is evident that these words are a reference to building a household, or family.

What are some of the parallels that can be drawn between the building of a construction project, such as a physical dwelling, and the building of a family as God intended? First, when building a family as God intended we must first consider the design. We learn of God’s design for the family from Genesis 2:18-242. God’s design for the family mandates that there be one man and one woman. This man and this woman are to cleave to one another for life. Perverted ideas of a family (such as same sex marriages, etc.) may be promoted by man, but are never approved by God. Further, Genesis 4:1-2 teaches that children are to come after the marriage, not before.

Second, when building a family as God intended, we must consider the necessary materials. That is, we must consider the qualities that God expects to be characteristic of our homes. Our families ought to rest on the foundation of God’s truth (John 6:68). They are to be surrounded by walls of love (I Corinthians 13:4-7), resulting in the family members dealing with one another with kindness, patience, and unselfishness. Our homes are to be filled with discipline (instructive, corrective, and self-discipline). Our homes are to be homes where family members respect one another. Our homes are to be insulated from outside threats by commitment.

Third, consider the workers. That is, those persons who are responsible for building families as God desires. While the church may be able to provide us with the help and influence we need, the responsible is left up to the family members. More specifically, the responsible ultimately rests with the husbands/fathers. As the head of the family, a father is obligated to ensure that Christ can be found in his home.

“Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”

Rod Halliburton


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