That They Might Know:|
The Path of Delight!
The Psalms for Families
by Scott Owings
"He established a decree in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, but keep his commandments..." Psalm 78.5-7
In parenting, as in almost anything in life, we must have an aim, a goal. As parents, what do we desire for our children...and how are we going about it? Schools, churches, books, and even politicians certainly have lots of insights and answers on the topic of family and child-rearing; that is, on how to have a good home. While sometimes helpful, their vision is often short-sighted and their strategy too restrictive or vague. Even worse much of what our society has to say about home life and child-rearing forgets what people of faith, through the ages, regard as indispensable: "unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain."
So where do we turn for a clearer vision and sound wisdom on how to build our home? Through the ages the community of faith has answered, "The Psalms!"
The Psalms are a treasure-house of wisdom, words from God and to God. In the Psalter we find prayer and praise to the One who lovingly cares for us, his children. The Psalms, whether prayed or sung, read aloud or silent, provide a clear vision and strategy how to raise up children to live fruitful lives of praise. As you go through the Psalms and read the following reflections may the LORD bring you and your home blessing.
Psalm 1: The Path of Delight
"but their delight is in the Law of the LORD"
Delight is an eternal blessing from God -- spontaneous moments that live in our heart for years. Who can forget the first smiles of an infant, the prayers of a young four year old, or the pride in the eyes of a youngster learning to ride his bike?
Children have a unique way of bringing delight because life for them is delightful. There is, however, one indispensable prerequisite to delightful living for children, as well as adults: security. Without laws, nations, families, and individual lives become chaotic -- delight-less.
Thankfully, as parents, we are not left to our own devices for child rearing. The LORD himself has left us his laws, his teaching, so that we might know how to parent, as well as how to live. To young children laws often seem harsh and restricting. This is true both physically and spiritually. However, the basis for the law of the LORD is love. Out of God's great love and desire for us to follow his path of delight, he has given us his law. As we and our children obey the law of the God, life will be secure and delightful.
1 Happy are those who dont listen to the wicked,
who dont go where sinners go, who dont do what evil people do.
2 They love the Lords teachings,
and they think about those teachings day and night.
3 They are strong, like a tree planted by a river.
The tree produces fruit in season,
and its leaves dont die.
Everything they do will succeed.
4 But wicked people are not like that.
They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 So the wicked will not escape Gods punishment.
Sinners will not worship with Gods people.
6 This is because the Lord takes care of his people,
but the wicked will be destroyed.