Family Joys
Psalm 128:3
Your wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of your house: your children like olive plants round about your table.…

This psalm is the picture of a God-fearing father, blessed with wealth and offspring, and with long life to see God's blessing upon Jerusalem. Dr. Barry renders this verse," Thy wife, in the inner chamber, is like the fruitful vine." Vines in the East are not usually trained over houses, or on walls. The vine is an emblem chiefly of fruitfulness, but perhaps also of dependence, as needing support; the olive of vigorous, healthy, joyous life. "We see the father of the family, working hard no doubt, but recompensed for all his pains by an honorable competence, and the mother, instead of seeking distraction outside her home, finding all her pleasures in the happiness of her numerous children, who, fresh and healthy as young saplings, gather round the simple but ample board." "Olive plants" are illustrated thus: "This aged and decayed tree is surrounded, as you see, by several young and thrifty shoots, which spring from the root of the venerable parent. They seem to uphold, protect, and embrace it. We may even fancy that they now bear that load of fruit which would otherwise be demanded of the feeble parent."

I. FAMILY JOYS COME OUT OF FAMILY TOIL. One idler in a family spoils the family joy. Each member must have his or her sphere, and love work. The self-indulgent member, the ne'er-do-well, the spendthrift, is the household anxiety. In common and united labor is found the family satisfaction.

II. FAMILY JOYS COME OUT OF RELATIVITY. Each member is an individual with marked individuality. A puzzle-shaped piece. There is trouble when the pieces do not fit to one another. The secret of family joy is each one getting shaped to the other, so that individuality is perfected in relationship.

III. FAMILY JOYS COME OUT OF AFFECTION. There is a peculiar feeling toward each other cherished by members of one family. We call it family affection. Illustrate by the joy of times of family reunion; and show how that affection helps family relations and sanctifies family fellowship.

IV. FAMILY JOYS COME OUT OF PIETY. Which is the recognition of another and all-hallowing family life. For piety is no other than a realization of our family life with God. And the more worthily we respond to that, the more skillfully and successfully we meet the obligations of the family life on earth. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

WEB: Your wife will be as a fruitful vine, in the innermost parts of your house; your children like olive plants, around your table.

A Pattern Wife
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