“Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox.” Proverbs 14:4.
If a farmer wants a clean barn, a barn from which he’ll never again have to shovel dung, all that he has to do is have no oxen, or other animals. He would cease having a mess, if his oxen were stolen, got lost, or died. He could avoid mess, if he never again purchased any oxen or other animals. However, think how much poorer a farmer would be without his oxen (especially in years past when such were used for work). He would not have the oxen to pull the plow, turn the millstone, pull the cart or wagon, or even produce the dung that he uses to fertilize his plants.
Thoughts for families: If you were the only one in the house, no doubt all would be neat, and well arranged, just the way you want it. If there were no children in the house, things would often be much easier. However, think how much poorer your life would be in so many areas. (No, I am not calling your children “oxen.” Don’t press the illustration too far!!!). Thank God for children.
Thoughts for the church: If the church were composed of only mature Christians, no babes in Christ, many difficulties and challenges would be eliminated. Many things would be easier. However, we would be much poorer; it is true. Furthermore, if there were no young children in services, crying would not be heard, fingerprints on glass would not be seen. Many messes would not exist. However, we would be much poorer. There would be little hope for the future of the local church. Life is sometimes messy, but not all messes and challenges are bad. Let’s be thankful for new converts, and children.