Do your daily priorities and choices reflect the Christian family values that you want? Let’s look at Psalm 49 for a helpful wake-up call.
What are your Christian family values?
Okay, I know you’re going to say that your family values and prioritizes faith, family, and a few other good things.
But then comes the real question. Would your daily decisions show me that these are your family values? That you prioritize Jesus, family time, and these other good things?
If I looked at your weekly screen time, your bank account, or your family calendar, what might I think your Christian family values really are?
Today, we’re continuing in our Summertime in the Psalms series with a big wake-up call.
Psalm 49 helps us see what our priorities should be… and we can ask ourselves if our Christian family values really do line up there.
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A wake-up call from Psalm 49
Psalm 49 is a wonderful psalm to give us a wake-up call to what is REALLY important in life.
Like every part of the Bible, the primary focus in this psalm is on God. Who is He? What has He done? How do we relate to him?
In Psalm 49, there are a few noteworthy observations about God (and human nature) that we should reflect on first, before we look at how this psalm applies to our personal lives as Christian moms. We see that:
- God is trustworthy, more than anything else or anyone else in this world.
- All people will die, regardless of the blessings or riches they enjoy in this life.
- It is God who redeems us and brings us back from the dead.
Those three key truths from this psalm are already enough to give us a wake-up call!
Pause right here with me and consider your own Christian family values. Do you value God above everything else in this world? Is He the One you are trusting in when you are discouraged, struggling, or frustrated?
No one wants to spend their days focusing on the reality that all people die. But this can be a big wake-up call to help us prioritize the time that we do have in this life.
In fact, this is why I am so passionate about helping women enjoy Christian family life! It is so important, but like everything else in this world, it will not last forever.
Digging into Psalm 49
Now, let’s take some time to walk through this psalm and see the important truths it has for us as Christian moms.
We will walk together through several verses at a time, asking ourselves what we learn about family life from each section of the psalm.
So let us ask together: How does Psalm 49 help us enjoy Christian family life?
1 Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who live in this world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb;
with the harp I will expound my riddle
The psalmist tells us that this psalm will give us wisdom (v. 3). And he is clear that this wisdom applies to everyone, “all who live in this world” (v 1).
Basically, the psalmist is telling us: Hey, listen up! This is a wake-up call for everyone and it is important! As Christian moms, we need to listen.
But also, I think we are reminded here that when we have wisdom to share, we should share it. We must speak truth and encouragement to each other.
5 Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me—
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?
We see here that our attention matters. What things and people are you paying attention to? What emotions are they sparking in you?
This psalm is telling us that we do not need to fear when it starts to feel like we are surrounded by “wicked deceivers” and “evil days” (v 5). And who are these deceivers? People who trust in their wealth and boast of it.
It is worth asking yourself two questions here…
- What are you trusting in apart from God?
Maybe wealth, maybe comfort, maybe your kid’s college fund… but you are deceived if you trust anything apart from God.
And then, of course, the psalmist wants us to ask:
- Who are you focusing on that is influencing you, and maybe triggering fear or worry in your heart?
There is no need to fear these people or let them influence you. Whether they are your next-door neighbors or influencers you follow on social media, people who trust and boast in the wrong things should not receive your attention or emotions.
7 No one can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for them—
8 the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough—
9 so that they should live on forever
and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die,
that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had named lands after themselves.
12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
they are like the beasts that perish.
These verses are a sobering reminder of the only guarantee in life: we all die.
Nothing you do can change that. The wise and foolish both die (v 10). The wealthy and the poor both die (v 12). No one will live forever.
And the psalmist also highlights the reality that when we die, we cannot take our wealth with us (v 10-11). Anything you might trust in apart from God will not save you or help you in the end.
When you consider your Christian family values, what will they look like at the very end? When this life is ending? Only the things of God will last. The things we do for his Kingdom are what ultimately matter.
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
death will be their shepherd
(but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself.
Wealth will not matter at the end of your life. Your social media following, the number of your bathroom scale, your reputation at church – none of that will matter at the end of your life.
Verse 13 reminds us in particular that not only will our own wealth not matter in the end, this is also true for the people who influence us. Those deceivers who sometimes influence you, worry you, or impress you? Their wealth will not matter. Like everyone else, they will die and their bodies will decay.
But God changes everything.
Verse 15 is the big reveal! As we consider our Christian family values, they should be shaped by this truth. “God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.”
Is the gospel your #1 family value? Do your daily priorities show that you are trusting God – and nothing else!) – for your satisfaction, purpose, and joy?
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.
20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.
Psalm 49 closes with a reminder of the wisdom that has already been shared. The psalmist reminds us to “not be overawed” by other people or the wealth, status, comfort, luxuries, or reputation that they build in this world (v 16).
While it is true that “people praise you when you prosper” (v 18) this has no impact on anything eternal or truly important.
Throughout the Bible, especially in the Proverbs, we are told what true understanding is. True wisdom. Proverbs 4:5 tells us “Get wisdom, get understanding” – just like Psalm 49:20 is telling us.
But these things do not ultimately matter. They are not the things your family values should be based on. Your daily priorities and decisions should be focused on gaining the “understanding” that God values.
So… what is that understanding?
Living in line with your Christian family values
The “understanding” that God values is knowing him and having a close relationship with him.
He wants us to know him, honor him, and follow him. There are plenty of Scriptures that highlight this truth, but Proverbs 2 and 3 might be the best places to start. Nothing is more valuable than understanding who God is and loving him!
As I consider some final take-aways about what Psalm 49 can teach us about Christian family life, I think it highlights how important it is that each of us build our family values and priorities around what truly matters.
You need to know what really matters in life, and then live that out.
Make daily decisions that point your family toward Jesus. Put things on your calendar that build up your family relationships. Spend your money on things that grow your character.
And consider what is influencing you. How is social media influencing what you desire or expect? Who do you hang out with and how do they influence your heart? What media do you consume (or allow your children to consume)?
Listen to Episode #125
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