Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.
You shall eat of the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. Psalm 128:1-4, NRSV A Song of Ascents
Granted, this is from the gentleman’s perspective – wife and children the elements of his family. Looking at these four verses, you could say something like this: do what is right and work hard, and you will be blessed with a good wife and multiple children…and others will call you blessed when they see this. Most of us know that a blessed life doesn’t always look like this. It’s a limited perspective, but not a bad one.
It’s easy enough to expand on this, to see something more behind and through the words than the man. Fruitfulness doesn’t have to be about having children, but about living a beautiful life that honors God, self, and neighbor – and having this valued and respected by one’s beloved. Growing children don’t necessarily have to be biologically related; providing a safe, welcoming, loving place to grow can be for any number of young ones and can take on many different forms.
If I take time to fall through the words instead of getting stopped by their particularity, I’ll find a blessing rather than an impediment.