Psalm 128 is the family Psalm.
It mentions three stages of marriage – preparation, marriage with children, and becoming grandparents.
The word “blessed” is used four times. Two of the Hebrew words translated as “blessed” can also be translated as “happy,” and the other two words translated as “blessed” mean “a successful journey.”
Happiness and success in life depend on family. Great relationships are founded on Biblical principles.
As marriage progresses in modern culture to strange variations – with participants from all identities, in any mixture of coupling, and seeking pleasure rather than actual love – happiness and emotional health disintegrate.
How joyful are those who fear the Lord – all who follow his ways! (Psalm 128:1, NLT)
The Bible defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
Scripture teaches that the best preparation for marriage is purity and fidelity to God’s ways. Decisions based upon God’s commandments will bring prosperity, while willful disobedience causes the loss of emotional, relational, and physical health.
You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! (v. 2, NLT)
I remember a man telling me, “I just lost one million dollars in this divorce.” I remember a woman saying, “It was only one night.” A young couple saying, “We want to live together to make sure we are right for one another before getting married.”
All the above stories didn’t end well. The man lost his wealth, the woman had an emotional breakdown, and the couple, after three years, left one another in search of compatibility elsewhere.
Married with children …
Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home (v. 3, NLT).
The above verse seems quaint and archaic. I have never preached in a wedding sermon that the young bride should become a “fruitful vine.”
The ultimate purpose of marriage is love, not children.
But consider ancient history for a moment. In an agrarian culture, life depended upon large families. Families needed their “people” or “nation” for protection. In the Old Testament, blessing depended upon children.
It was a life-and-death situation.
Also, it wasn’t a woman stuck in a tent, but a community working and raising children together. Everyone worked for prosperity and enjoyed the blessings together.
May the Lord continually bless you from Zion … May you live to enjoy your grandchildren (vv. 5-6, NLT).
As a grandparent, I know there is no greater blessing than grandchildren.
Family dinners display a blessing – not just the food but those sitting at the table. When a husband and wife sit down for a holiday meal with children and grandchildren gathered, they are blessed.
The proof of a great life – one of happiness and success – can be found at your Christmas dinner table.
Psalm 128 teaches this key to great families …
The Lord’s blessing falls on those who fear him (v. 4, OGV).
I hear this reason for relaxing God’s standards: We must be loving towards all people.
But do we fear God, or do we fear culture?