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. 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 127v1-2
The Hebrews word translated 'vanity' in most to the Old Testament is an interesting word. It is a word that perfectly fits what we think of when we hear the word 'vanity.' It means something like 'grasping at the air and trying to contain it.' We all know that is impossible. Despite was the souvenir shops advertise you cannot capture and sell Florida sunshine of Irish fresh air. It is vanity to think that you can.
Building a family has occupied a huge part of our lives. It still does as a matter of fact. Obviously it is something we have to pour our hearts and minds into. We have loads of books on the family. I read advice from all kinds of sources. Some of it is excellent and applicable. Some if it is pure rubbish. Sometimes we just do what we think best regardless of anything. Sometimes we act without even thinking. It is hard to know what to do sometimes.
The psalmist talks about vanity in relation to building a family here. He says that unless the Lord builds a house all we do is vain. The Bible addresses vanity in the light of eternity. Life is like that morning vapour that appears for a little while then 'vanishes' away. When we focus our efforts on the hear and now is building our families instead of looking to eternity we are trying to grasp that bit of vapour and keep it forever. It won't work. It is vain.
Solomon figured that out. He tried to build his life on everything else and found it all vanity, emptiness, and a waste of time. He finally realised that the only reality came in the fear of the Lord.
Unless the Lord builds the house we labour in vanity when we try to do it our way. Our focus in our homes must be dependence on the Lord and His word. When we try to please someone else it is vanity. When we try to build our family to impress others we fail in our vain efforts.
Unless the Lord is allowed to build our homes we indeed labour in vain. Lets be sure our efforts are not in vain and depend on Him.