A wise son makes a father glad - Proverbs 15:20
He who sires a fool does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy. - Proverbs 17:21
I read those verses recently while reading through Proverbs. It got me thinking about what it means to honor our parents. When we think about honoring our parents, most likely the first thing through our mind is: Ephesians 6:1-3 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." But is obeying our parents all there is to honoring them? I don't believe so. Please, do not misunderstand me, obeying our parents is of utmost importance. If we want to honor our parents than the first step is going to be obedience. However honoring our parents is much greater than simply obeying the commands they give us. Honoring our parents has to do with a life change. It has to do with being wise and fearing God.
By nature we are fools. I probably didn't just gain any friends by that statement, but that doesn't mean it's not true. Take a look at Proverbs 22:15 "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child." I want to take a look at the characteristics of a fool and a wise man. Than sum up why growing in wisdom is honoring to our parents.
The foolish man (or woman):
- delights in speaking his mind, not in receiving instruction. (Prov 18:2)
- despises wisdom and instruction. (Prov 1:7)
- takes delight in committing wickedness. (Prov 10:23)
- deceives others into following him in wickedness. (Prov 1:10-14)
- ambushes his own life. (Prov 1:18)
- is lazy and does not prepare for the future. (Prov 24:30-34)
- returns to his folly time and again. (Prov 26:11)
- is not easily separated from his foolishness. (Prov 27:22)
- trusts his own heart. (Prov 28:26)
The wise man (or woman):
- see's the evil and hides himself (Prov 22:3)
- will hear instruction and receives knowledge. (Prov 21:11)
- considers his steps and turns away from evil. (Prov :14:15-16)
- hears instruction and increases wise counsel. (Prov 1:7)
- takes joy in wisdom. (Prov 10:23)
- lives securely and free from the dread of evil. (Prov 1:33)
- listens to reproof. (Prov 15:32)
- fears the Lord and turns away from evil. (Prov 3:7)
- trusts the Lord with his whole heart. (Prov 3:1-5)
The Proverbs are chocked full of a father's plea for his son to walk in wisdom (Prv 1:8; Prv 4:1; Prv 6:20; Prv 22:17; Prv 7:1). We read in Proverbs 10:1 that "A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish son is a grief to his mother." A wise son is a joy, is a honor to his father... for he makes his father glad. But a foolish son? Well he is a sorrow and a burden. What better way to honor our parent's than walk in wisdom? The Apostle John said this in 3rd John verse 4: "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth." It is one thing to simply obey when your parents are watching, but when their disciplinary hand is no longer there to correct. Our obeying God by pursuing righteousness becomes a testament of His grace and work in our lives. Which in return honor's our parents and their sacrifice.
Often times I am tempted to give up hope, because I see myself fail to walk in wisdom. I am often reminded of James 1:5 which states "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." I constantly pray this verse and recite it to myself, because I need the reminder... that it is God who grants wisdom. It is not a overnight transition from foolishness to wisdom. Proverbs 4 says to "acquire wisdom," to acquire something such as wisdom it takes time. Let us not grow weary in doing good but strive to acquire wisdom and understanding!