“Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.”
Psalm 127:3

Solomon continues with his thoughts in Psalm 127. He now muses over the blessings of having children, calling them a reward from the Lord. At first glance, we might take this as read, not digging too deeply into what it actually means. I suppose in those days with no welfare state, a house full of sons and daughters would be a blessing. As well as supporting the family, sons were useful for protection and security, particularly in their parent’s older years. But can they fall into the category of being a “gift” and a “reward” from the Lord? And what about in society today, in an overpopulated world?

There can never be a negative answer to that question. My own two children have been a source of many blessings. Those early years were a constant stream of good experiences as we grew up together as a family, ever closer, always learning. And as the years have rolled by, we have laughed together but also on occasion cried together, united as a family in the way God intended. 

But sadly, in recent years, Western nations have increasingly become engaged in the practice of infanticide. Call it abortion if you prefer. To me, the Biblical position is clear – life starts at the moment of conception. But we must never get caught up in a judgemental way; God loves each and every person caught up in their individual tragedies, and it is our duty to dispense His love and grace whenever we can. Bringing light and love into traumatised people’s lives.

We also need to pray for those desperately sad people who want to bring children into this world, but are unable to do so for some physiological reason. Good parents, devastated that they cannot fulfil their potential. And we also need to pray for the parents who lack the skills to bring up children, perhaps because they were badly parented themselves. And we have another societal problem with single parent families, where one of the parents has moved on, leaving a torn family and traumatised partner. We pray. O Lord, how we must pray.

Father God, today we thank You for the gift of children to those of us who are parents. And we pray for those of us who one day will be parents, or want to be parents, that you will reward them also. Help those people, Father, who are struggling in their parenting. We pray for those people who are single or unable to be parents, Father. We ask that You become their parent, enfolding them with Your presence and love, leading them to families as it says in Your Word. We pray this in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

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