By Jaida Campbell, Crosswalk.com
When talking about finances, we inevitably get around to discussing investments, and in the case of our children, Psalms 127:3 says in the NKJV, "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward." And the NLT says it this way, "Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from Him."
Our children are gifts from God which means we must take those gifts and invest in them to grow them to maturity. Financial verbiage is definitely being used. Maturity and investment are finance words along with "reward" and "grow." You were a financier in your children's lives when they were young, and now you have become a financial adviser as they are on their own, building their children and families.
While your children were young, you were investing time and energy (along with lots of money) to grow them to maturity. "Maturity" in the Merriam-Webster dictionary means full development, and in the Bible, it refers to spiritual development and growth. Our goal as parents is to raise our children to live for the Lord and live prosperous and fulfilling lives. This, of course, is not just prosperity in the money sense, but in every area of their lives as it says in III John 2, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." Just as our Heavenly Father wants this for us, we want this for our children. Building your children and your family is the most important heritage you can be passing on to your children.
The Builder's Psalm
Psalm 127:1-2, "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.
2 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."
Psalm 127 begins with the well-known phrase, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." Most of the time, this is used to make plans for businesses, ministries, and many other endeavors, and it is so true that whatever we are building, we must put it in the hands of the Lord for total success and prosperity.
But it is no coincidence that the next three and final Scriptures in this psalm concern children and family. I submit that this whole psalm is about building the best investment you can possess: your children. This also includes the idea of your children continuing the legacy and investment. Your children are valuable and need to be treated as such. And since you valued your children when they were young and invested much in them, as parents of adult children, that investment should continue to grow to maturity even after they have left your home.
Psalm 127:3-5, "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."
Charles Spurgeon said this about Psalm 127, which he named "The Builder's Psalm," "We are here taught that builders of houses and cities, systems and fortunes, empires and churches all labour in vain without the Lord; but under the divine favour they enjoy perfect rest. Sons, who are in the Hebrew called "builders", are set forth as building up families under the same divine blessing, to the great honour and happiness of their parents."
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Psalm 127 as a Family Model
If we take this psalm as the model for family, we see several things that not only help us to parent our children when they are young, but also when they are adults. It helps us walk in peace in this new stage of our parenting role after our children have left our home and live their own lives. I am not so naïve to believe that all children brought up in a Christian home will never wander, but I believe in trusting that the Word and nature in them will rise when necessary to bring them back to where they know they need to be.
In the first and second verses, it is clear that building our family to be strong and fortified depends on turning it over to the Lord to let Him do it in His might and His wisdom. When we do it in our own strength and abilities, we use unnecessary energy and time, and we become weak and fearful. The Scripture says that if we hand it over to Him, we will have guards looking out for us and rest instead of sleepless nights.
It gets very interesting in verse three, in which it says that children are a gift or heritage from the Lord. Synonyms for heritage are inheritance, birthright, and legacy, and we also glean the meaning as property handed down to an heir. God is the giver or the benefactor, and we are the heirs. Romans 8:17 explains this, "…and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ…." We inherit the same inheritance that Jesus inherits from the Lord. That is difficult to fathom, but that is what Jesus signed up for when He chose to come to earth to be our replacement for our sins. He knew that He would be sharing His inheritance with us, and He came gladly.
As parents of adult children, if we have done the best job we could while raising our children, we have laid a foundation of inheritance, a legacy that they will continue as heirs to what we have been given from God and passed on to them. We must learn to walk in the confidence that we did what we knew to do in our knowledge at the time we were raising our children and that the promises of God will manifest themselves. They may not manifest in our timing expectations, but God is faithful to His Word, and it will come to pass.
Verse four says that our children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior. A warrior has trained and would be practiced and accurate in the use of a bow. So the emphasis is that the warrior is expected to shoot their arrows accurately to the expected target, and, in the same way, God expects us to shoot our children in the right direction to hit the correct target. It is our responsibility to do the best we can to direct our children in the things of the Lord so that they will continue in the straight pathway that the Lord has set.
Our Children are Our Most Valuable Investment
We all know that our children are not perfect, and they will not always make the right choices. Believe me, in writing this, I am in no way saying that I have done it right, and some of my advice comes from my own mistakes, but the truth is the truth whether we get it right every time or not. And if you have a prodigal, know that you are not alone and that God has His eyes on your prodigal and His hand out to catch them whenever possible.
When our children were young, we were building them and growing them to maturity, laying a foundation of the Word of God to sustain them when they are on their own and making their own decisions. You were the financier, like the financial backer of a large construction job. You were investing your knowledge, wisdom, time, and energy into your children, and now you have become their financial adviser. You have taken a new role in their lives in that you are sitting back and enjoying the fruit of your labors. Even when it is hard, pray and believe God for results that were predicted when you invested all you had into them.
Prayer for Your Adult Children:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessing of my children, the heritage of the Lord. Thank you that you saw fit to give them to me to raise in the admonition of the Lord. I did my best. I raised them in the way I knew how. I'm sure that there are things that I could have done better, but you knew my heart and my intentions of raising them to be disciples of Jesus Christ. Station angels around my children as they go out into this world. Protect them from dangers, sickness, disease, others' decisions, and even their own decisions. Holy Spirit, guide and direct their steps to doing what You want them to do. Remind them of the Word that is in them. Stir up the gift that is in them.
Help me as a parent to be what they need now as they are endeavoring to master "adulting" and help me not to control and dominate their decision-making. Help me stay in the role of advisor, and thank you for always keeping them in your strong and dependable hands.
Thank you for your guidance as a parent of adult children and help me to be in peace as I watch them continue to grow in You.
In Jesus' name,
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Jaida Campbell is a mother of three grown sons, a grandmother of three grandkids, a former pastor’s wife, author, educator, mentor, and world-traveling missionary. She graduated from Rhema Bible College in Supportive Ministries and Tennessee Tech University in Education. She taught middle school math for 13 years and now mentors at-risk students in middle school. During her school breaks, when not visiting her grandkids, she is traveling somewhere in the world to minister to the hopeless, the hurting, and the hungry. Check out her first self-published book, Live Like Royalty, which can be found here.