Two constant human activities are contemplated in Psalm 127: that of building and protecting. The writer is plain about both of these endeavors: if God is not involved, all our labors are in vain. It is not that they won’t result in anything, only that our success will not be proportional to our effort. Working harder, rather than partnering with God, will not help.
On the other hand, if we are following the leading of the Lord, success will be ours. Though the Psalm speaks of warfare and protection of the city, the poem is decidedly familial in its tenor. Focus on the family should begin with a focus on the Lord, and that begins with the wisest, most experienced of family members, the family, and especially the father. If both parents do not value the leading of God, the children will not either. Exceptions exist, but who wants to count on an exception? Children may ultimately reject a parent’s values, but they seldom embrace what they have not learned from their youth. Education and training are important, but a life of success will elude those who don’t include God.