Monday, October 27, 2008

Proverbs 10

I've been reading through Proverbs slowly in recent weeks. A few days back I read through Proverbs 10 and had meditated on verse 9. But as I looked back through it, the very first verse jumped out to me. This chapter is the beginning of the actual proverbs, the short pithy statements that carry a lot of weight. Listen to what the very first one is:

"A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother." - Prov. 10:1

What's this proverb communicate? The two lines make the same point, just from opposite angles: Parents' joy, or lack thereof, is in large part due to the level of wisdom in their children.

Did you catch that? Solomon is telling us that parents' "gladness" and "sorrow" will typically stem from the level of godliness in their children. If your children are obedient and growing in their ability to make godly decisions, you will be glad. If they are persisting in foolishness and rebellion against you and against God, your heart will be sorrowful. One brings peace and unity, the other brings division and hostility.

Why is this significant to us as parents? Well, I think many parents try to find gladness in what they are able to provide for their families (a nice house, gifts, allowances, braces, education, etc.). Those are wonderful goals to have. But they will NOT lead to your own happiness, and they are NOT what your child most desperately needs. Your child needs someone to discipline and instruct their heart and to point them to their Savior way more than they need any tangible signs of love that you can offer.

Settling for something less than the development of wisdom in our children might lead to temporary peace or gladness in the home. (What kid wouldn't be temporarily pacified by a new iPod or the new outfit they wanted?) But it is the development of wisdom and godliness in our children that will lead to lasting joy in our homes and in our hearts as parents.

No comments: