Being a Father is a big job. Having a wise child makes the job easier and more joyful. Learn how to be a wise child and make your parents glad with this advice from the Bible.
Proverbs 10:1 “The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: But a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.”
Proverbs 15:20 “A wise son maketh a glad father: But a foolish man despiseth his mother.”
Dad’s are under a lot of pressure. They are a husband to a wife. They are called by God to be the spiritual leader. They are tasked with providing for the needs of the Family. They are trusted to protect the family.
Raising children is a tremendous blessing. To have children is one of life’s special gifts. To raise children is one of life’s most daunting tasks. Rarely is a child wise enough to have compassion and empathy for his parents. The word child in this message/article is used in the wide sense of the word. Sometimes it speaks of age and other times of relation. Being wise will make your earthly parents and your Heavenly Father glad. Why would you want to live any other way?
Often, when a child is old and has children of his own, he can truly appreciate his parents. But why wait until we are old? Set yourself apart from most of the world and value your parents today! Children are born simple and selfish. Babies don’t know anything and cannot care for themselves. Parents work to tirelessly to care for them.
Young children are simple in that they don’t know right from wrong. They believe whatever they are told. As they grow, they must choose who to believe (God or Satan) and who to become (wise or foolish). Young children are selfish in that they are consumed with their own wants and needs. Every toy is “mine!” Sharing is a violation. They expect the world to stop to care for them. The normal process of maturity should address both simplicity and selfishness. As a child grows, he should become more independent, wise, and selfless. God encourages us to choose wisdom rejecting foolishness.
Our text verse reveals an amazing fact about wisdom that is often overlooked – living wisely is a gift to your parents.
The Bible speaks of many that a child can do for the good or for the bad of their parents. A wise child makes parents glad. A foolish child makes them sad. (Proverbs 10:1\Proverbs 15:20). A foolish child is the calamity of his father. Calamity in this verse means misery or ruin. (Proverbs 17:25) We can be wise and make our parents happy or be foolish and make our parents sad. (Proverbs 19:13) The choice is yours! How can you be a wise? In a general sense, wisdom is the right use of knowledge. It is skillful living. Biblical wisdom, however, is seeing the world through God’s eyes. It is discretion to choose the good and avoid the evil. Wisdom begins with the fear of the LORD (Proverbs 1:7). Wisdom accepts instruction and obeys God’s commandments (Ps 111:10). This message focuses on Fathers and sons. Yet, these truths are applicable for sons and daughters toward fathers and mothers. Perhaps your Dad is gone. It could be that your father disappointed you terribly. Or maybe you never knew Him. Or it might be that you have the best Dad on earth. Either way, these truths will help us make our parents glad whether they be on Earth or in Heaven.
Ultimately, these verses can teach us how to make our Heavenly Father glad. Pleasing the Lord should be the desire of every child of God. Every Christian parent longs for their children to live wisely in the will of God. I can hear someone say, “Oh no, Pastor. My parents don’t follow God. They think I’m making a mistake serving Jesus.” Unbelieving parents may not understand your desire to follow God at first. Some may even work to discourage you. In time they will be thankful for your choice. I have experienced this myself and have seen it in others. Wait until the discouraging parent sees your loving marriage and enjoys your obedient children. The wisdom of your choice to follow God gets more obvious as time goes on. You will never be sorry you follow Christ! Those who love you will eventually agree.
How can you honor your father? What can you do to live wisely and make your Dad happy? Here are a few tips.
1. Obey – Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”
In the Jewish culture each person was considered a child until they were 12 years old. At that time, the child became a young adult. They were an adult in training. Often, they would become an apprentice and begin learning their life’s work. This verse teaches us that each child’s goal is to learn to obey their parents by the time they are 12. If you don’t obey your parents, you have not learned one of life’s most basic lessons.
We all have someone to obey. If you won’t recognize the authority of the people that brought you into the world, took care of your every need, you will not accept the authority of others. You never get to an age or position where you don’t have someone to whom you answer. A CEO is accountable to the board and shareholders. A business owner is accountable to the customers. A husband or wife is answerable to the spouse. Everyone is accountable to God according to 2 Corinthians 5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
Parents must teach their children to obey. Children must surrender to parental authority. The best obedience is immediate and glad. Delayed or grudging obedience is barely obedience at all. It is compliance with enough insubordination to let everyone know they are not happy about it. It is one step away from rebellion. Chastisement is God’s method to root out rebellion and teach obedience. Chastisement is punishment with training. It gives immediate feedback to the transgression. If you put your hand in the fire, it hurts right now. It’s easy to connect the dots learning that you don’t want to do that again. There are many options for chastisement. The most common are forms of spanking and/or loss of privileges. Biblical spankings are calm, planned, and restrained physical spanking on the bottom. Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom: But a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
It is not “love” to let children do and say whatever they want. God corrects us because He loves us not in spite of it. We must correct our children who delight us too. Proverbs 3:12 “For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; Even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”
My wife and I learned from an older couple that having a child sit on their hands and be still is effective. Be creative and learn from others. Never hit your child in anger or scream at them. Abuse is sinful and criminal. A wise person keeps the law and spends time with those who do as well. A foolish child with sinful friends brings shame to his parents. Proverbs 28:7 “Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: But he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.”
If a child doesn’t learn to obey, they will learn it in far more painful ways as they get older. Prisons are full of people that never learned to respect authority. Start where you are today. Recognize God’s authority and obey Him first. Acknowledge all God-given authority in your life. Obey it and be blessed.
2. Honor – Ephesians 6:2–3 “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. This is the first commandment that had a promise included. There is no promise with “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shalt not covet.” This mandate includes the promise of an extended life! Do you want to live longer? Do you want to have a blessed and lengthy life? Honor your father and mother. The word honor means to prize or affix value. The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines honor as To revere; to respect; to treat with deference and submission, and perform relative duties to. (Honor thy father and thy mother. Ex. 20.) We should work to convince our parents of their value to us.
- Speak loving words.
- Remind them of some specific things they taught you.
- Write notes and cards.
- Spend time with them doing what they enjoy.
- See if they need anything.
- Tell them how much they mean to you.
- Serve God joyfully.
Proverbs 19:26 “He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, Is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.” The word wasteth speaks of being burly, intimidating, or violent. The words “chaseth away” means to drive out or make flee. Once, I saw a young boy chasing his mom around the yard trying to hit her with a belt. She was running from him asking him to stop. Can you imagine someone that would treat their parents that way? They do and there are hefty consequences from God that follow them.
3. Value The Family Name – Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, And loving favour rather than silver and gold.”
If your parents gave you a good name, protect it. If you inherited a disreputable name, live to redeem it and pass on a good name to your children. Rarely is child wise enough to have compassion and empathy for parents
4. Live a Moral Life – Proverbs 5:20–22 “And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, And embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, And he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, And he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
Parents love their children and want the best for them. Young people can be swayed by fleshly lust and worldly philosophy. Older people know how immorality can destroy a life. If a young person gets caught up in immorality, dad and mom have to pick up the pieces. YOung person, live a moral life and make your parents glad.
5. Handle Money Wisely – Proverbs 6:1 “My son, if thou be surety for thy friend,Ifthou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger.”
We all need some financial help from time to time. Typically, parents are more stable financially than the children. Parents enjoy helping out when they can. However, children that never learn how to handle money are in a perpetual bind. This causes stress for the parents that love them so. Parents must be careful to help when God leads without enabling foolish behavior. It is better to have less stuff in a peaceful and loving home than to have a bunch of stuff with strife and worry. The best solution is financial wisdom. Learn to handle money wisely and make your Dad happy.
6. Work Hard – Proverbs 10:5 “He that gathereth in summerisa wise son:Buthe that sleepeth in harvestisa son that causeth shame.”
Don’t be lazy. It is a bad testimony and you will be in perpetual need of help. Incorporate these habits into your life. Get up in the morning. Work hard. Go to bed at a decent hour. Spend wisely. Save money. Help others. Don’t just work hard for money. Work to serve the Lord. Help around the church. Join a ministry. Use your talents for God’s work. Tell people about Jesus. Invest in your spiritual retirement!
7. Be Teachable
A wise person learns how to balance independence and honor. God wants you to grow up and mature. He doesn’t want you to push away godly authority, reject wise counsel, or be a rebel. Listen. Learn. Grow. You can skip years of mistakes and untold misery by receiving instruction and following wise counsel. A wise child listens and obeys. Foolish, scornful people reject rebuke. Proverbs 9:8–9 gives a stark difference between a wise man and a scorner. “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” Wise people learn from others. They are teachable and grateful for correction. We should recognize the gift of wise counsel and sound instruction. Never spurn it from reliable people who are sincerely trying to help you. Above all, never despise the chastening of the LORD. Be grateful that God loves you enough to be involved in your life and teach you how to live.
Choose Wisdom Today!
The ultimate wise choice is choosing to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Being wise will make your earthly parents and your Heavenly Father glad. Why would you want to live any other way?
Every child has a choice to make. Will you be wise and follow God or be a fool and go your own way. A wise son maketh a glad father. Let’s strive to make our earthly father’s proud. Our Heavenly Father is easily pleased. Live wisely and He rejoices. The normal process of maturity should address both.
Paul Chapman | Pastor
Curtis Corner Baptist Church | Wakefield, RI.