“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.”
In the financial world it is common to speak of ROI or “Return on Investment.” Decisions are made based upon the projected returns a particular investment will bring. The greater the return the better the investment. Another term used in the financial world is “Risk Free Investment.” Which refers to an investment where you are guaranteed to get back at least what you put in. Here the psalmist is speaking of a risk free investment that will yield a massive return. He writes about marriage and family and describes a scene with the family sitting around the table enjoying sweet fellowship with one another. There are few things in life that are more beautiful than seeing a family loving and caring for one another. This scene is often depicted in movies, art and even on commercials when holidays are approaching. Sadly, the scene is not nearly as common in real life. Statistically speaking the family has been under attack for decades. According to Pew Research Center 1/2 of America’s children are living in a home that has suffered divorce or where their parents were never married.
Since the family is the backbone of society great effort has been enacted in an attempt to strengthen the family. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) represents more than 50,000 marriage and family therapists throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad. While these efforts are valiant and there are certainly times when professional help is necessary there may be a more effective way to change the staggering trend we are on as a nation. What if each of us were to take more seriously our role as parents and make the necessary physical, emotional and spiritual investments in our spouse and children? This type of investment is risk free. The more we pour into our families the greater returns we will later enjoy.
The Bible speaks to husbands and wives to show mutual respect to one another and to express love in tangible and even extraordinary ways. Instead of looking at all the ways your spouse is failing to meet your expectations, take the time to pour into them. Love them, cherish them, respect them and watch what kind of returns you will yield.
The Bible speaks to parents regarding the need to care for, disciple, train, provide for and raise their children to honor, love and properly fear the Lord. This is to be accomplished by spending time with them and using real life as a classroom to instill in them godly values, goals and experience. It is the responsibility of the parent to teach by example. When we learn to live for Christ and walk in grace we will be a living bible for our children to read and follow.
It is never too late! No matter what family life has been like for you it is time to increase the efforts, make the proper investments and patiently await the return you will one day yield. The Bible even promises a day when many will see their prodigal children returning home.