Stable Homes and Cities
If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. (Psalm 127:1-2)
Just a couple of thoughts today as we break down this passage a bit - God must be central in all we set out to accomplish and he must be central in all our relationships. We can 'build and build', all the while not really building of any long-term value. I was able to get some free pallets a while back and decided to break them down into usable pieces that I could build some raised gardens with. They lasted about four years before decay began to make them no longer useful. I had to replace all that hard work with block beds because of the decay. They looked good for a while, but as time went on, the wood didn't hold up to the elements.
There are times when we 'build and build' in our relationships, thinking what we are 'building' is strong and stable, only to find they aren't as 'stable' as we had hoped. There are things we do to feel secure and 'whole' in our homes, but in the long run they don't really make us any more secure or 'whole' than we were before we put them there. That video doorbell won't stop someone from breaking in, but it could deter a porch pirate. That gun in the safe isn't going to stop a thief, but you may feel a bit more secure knowing it is there. Relationships must be built on solid ground if they are to mature and stand the test of time. Homes and cities are only as 'secure' and 'stable' as the relationships maintained within those walls!
So, how do we build relationships that will stand the tests that come their way? I think we can see plainly that if God isn't at the center of these relationships, all the building is really with 'inferior materials'. Just as the beds made from wood began to decay with the elements, the relationship without Christ at the center will also face 'decay' and 'pressure' from the elements of life that challenge its stability. We might think it has to be that we grow with God 'together', but all growth begins individually, and that somehow 'spills over' into the type of growth that binds us together. We might want to focus on the other person in the relationship, thinking they are to 'blame' for the instability in the home or city, but it could just be that 'stability' begins with us! Just sayin!