In part 2 I talked about how being a builder as a wife begins with seeing our homes as the part of "the wall" God's assigned us to build in His kingdom.
In part 3 I talked about how that building of our homes- home making- doesn't necessarily mean you must have have a husband and children...we all can practice home-making to build up the kingdom of God as women whatever our circumstances are.
In part 4 I shared some things God was speaking to my heart from the example of Solomon when he was at the end of his building and sacrificing and offering: it's not just to look at nicely, it's to be "burned up", tested in the trials of life that God's glory might be seen and others might believe.
In this 5th installment I wanted to continue with that pause we took last week. The pause was stopping to realize- this building of the kingdom work God calls us to do as women in building our homes (whatever those homes may look like) is not JUST for our pleasure (though there is much to be enjoyed in building as God designed), but it is ultimately a work of worship to be consumed and tested even through trials and pain that God's glory might be seen in us and those around us might worship Him too.
This week's "pause" has me camping on is Psalm 127:
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
What stops me in my tracks here is the reminder that this work of building and watching I've been called to do as the keeper of my home (which really means to be aware, watchful, on guard), and as a woman, is not powered by me. God lets me participate and enables me to partake of His building work, but it is really He, not me, who builds.
The other thing that stands out to me and causes me to take a Selah (Hebrew for accentuate or pause) is that this building is directly linked, not to walls and buildings, furniture and dishes, decor and traditions, but to PEOPLE! Children, specifically.
This Psalm is saying, "Hey, you builders and watchers. Don't start getting anxious and worried about how the building is going or not going or how the enemies are abounding or not abounding. Don't pace the floors trying to conjure up a good plan or figure out a sure defense, look to ME!
I'm the One who makes what you build stand or fall. If I'm not for you- YOUR TOAST! But if I am for you then it doesn't matter how bad things seem or how little progress the building seems to be making. I'm in control. So stop worrying. Pray and rest. Look for what and how I'M building and then do it trusting me for the outcome.
And remember I'm not talking about physical buildings here, I'm talking about children, or those souls I've entrusted to you to grow and nurture and train. Your best offense against the enemy is not coming up with a good building scheme. Your best offense is to trust ME and train up the souls that only I can give to you.
You can't build your house apart from Me! Can you create a child? No! Children come from Me. Just as children come from Me, the building of them, the training of souls I put in your care, can only happen because I'm doing the building."
So many questions and realizations come out of this Psalm for me.
I realize I worry way too much (if I worry at all it's too much). Does the Lord live in me? Then it's His ways, His strength and His will that will "build" and "guard" my house, not me staying up late or getting up early fretting or toiling anxiously. "...for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Phil.2:13)
I also realize in God's economy, building as a wise woman is directly connected to the children God's given me.
I see that God may give me souls to build and train as though they were my children even if I don't have children of my own. I think of Paul, who often referred to the souls he trained and taught, loved and nurtured in the ways of the Lord as his children (see 1 Corinthians 4:14-15, and 1 Thess. 2:7-9, and Galatians 4:19).
I realize training my children is a weapon against the enemies of God's kingdom. And that means I must take much care to see that the weapon God's given me is prepared to be launched "out there" to effectively combat the enemy's strongholds.
It makes me ask for wisdom, and again I go back to Solomon who when given rule over God's people entreated God saying, "Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people of yours, which is so great?" (2 Chronicles 1:10)
And that's what I ask for- wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before these people of His, these souls that belong to Him, these sons, this husband, these neighbors, etc.
Lord, I can't do this building work apart from You. But with You I can do all things, even the divine calling of building up my house for Your kingdom. You've entrusted me with at least two souls under my care, and maybe even more I'm not aware of. Teach me how to pray for them and also teach me to rest and trust You. Teach me how to go in and out...to do life in front of them that they might learn Your ways. Please give me wisdom Lord, that I can build for Your name's sake!
I listened to an AWESOME teaching on this subject through a link from the Rebelution blog. You can go here to listen for yourself. I HIGHLY recommend it!!
Here's one of the things he said that really got my attention:
"In many ways we don't need to spend more time with our children, they need to spend more time with us." ( Greg Harris from Covenant Life Church, father of the Rebelution kids Alex and Brett)
What are your thoughts? Do you find yourself "eating the bread of anxious toil" when it comes to how the building of your home is going? Boy do I!!! Do you see your own children as they vessels which God enables you to build His kingdom through? Are you engaging with them and discipling them? Do you have people in your life who are not children of your own but seem to just be following you and looking up to you when you didn't ask for it or even want it? Maybe God's called you to be their spiritual mom?