Unless The Lord Builds A House

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.
2 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.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
5 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.

My son turned 21 a few months ago. There have been may “houses” built, much staying awake and rising early. Oh, not just for my son, but for my three daughters as well.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary states that Psalm 127 was written by David for Solomon. David directs Solomon to look up to God and depend on Him. Without dependence on God’s provisions all our wisdom, care and hard work will go to waste.

Looking back I can recall investing wisdom, care and hard work in our children. (No doubt there is much more to go!) Some of it while depending on God, yet other efforts were all on my own. Truthfully, the success or failure of my efforts were not always known right away so effort spent on my own was not immediately recognized as the waste it was. But as time has ticked on it became very apparent that Psalm 127 is indeed true! Unless the Lord build the house those who labor, labor in vain. As a parent, make sure your efforts are worthwhile.

Proverbs 3: 5,6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

May God’s grace and peace be with you,
Mark Strohm, Jr.

Encouragement and Hope

As I write this second post only family and a few friends know of our parenting blog. Yet, Ellen and my hope is that this instrument will be used mightily of God as a source of encouragement and hope for parents.

Parents, your job is far more important than our society will ever acknowledge. The push for “more”, the desire for “success” all compete for the time and energy needed to fulfill the demanding job of parenting.

Yet I am encouraged! I believe God is raising up couples who are waving the “banner” of less stuff and more investment in their children. Couples who are making the tough decisions such as buying smaller homes, less flashy cars, staying out of debt thereby allowing their children benefits such as having parents home more or to be placed into Christian schools.

If you desire support in your job as parent you can subscribe to this blog and receive an encouraging and Biblical email each time the blog is updated. You can click on the link to the right or on this link: SUBCRIBE.

You can also participate by adding comments. Either Ellen or myself will respond when appropriate. In order to comment you will need to register (separate from subscribing for the e-mail) to the Loving Limits blog. This is a simple process. Down the right column you will see the Link Category (in bold) called META. Directly under that is a link to REGISTER. We welcome comments!

If you would rather not post a question in the comments field send questions directly to Ellen or my email. We will assume it is ok to post your questions with and answer – if it is not, please state that in your e-mail. Here are our email addresses:
mark@colossians2.com
ellen@colossians2.com

If you know of families who have questions or would appreciate encouragement and Biblical exhortations on parenting let them know of our blog. Our address is http://colossians2.com.

May God’s grace and peace be with you,
Mark Strohm, Jr.

Always In Love

Our Actions Must Always Be In Love


This picture sits on my desk at work. Several years ago I took my two youngest daughters, Julie and Abby, to the forest preserve in their Sunday dresses to photograph them with the beautiful Queen Anne’s Lace. Whenever my daughters see this picture, they always moan. You see, they hated walking into the forest preserve with the scratchy, itchy plant growth. I knew it would look good. It makes a beautiful picture, but to them it was a horrible experience.

I wonder if our children feel the same way about our child rearing. For some of us, things look good. However, what kind of experience is it for our children? They may be polite, but are they in fear of not being polite? They may have the right hair cut and lack the trendy, even rebellious styles, but at what cost?

Children are a wonderful gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). We genuinely treasure them as coming from the Lord when we sacrifice our dreams, motives and desires for them and ask God to give us His dreams, motives and desires for our children. True love will help us through difficult times. Love will give us patience, help us not react inappropriately, and will curb our tempers.

The word, love, is defined by Richards in his Expository Dictionary, as “the grandest theme of Scripture. It moved God to reach out to the lost; and it enables the lost to look up in response, as well as to reach out to others.” When it comes to any discipleship or training program, our motivation must to “look up in respnse” and love your children through the love Jesus Christ has given us. Remember . . .always in love!