Daily Wisdom 187: Proverbs 10:1

Proverbs 10:1 (NKJV) — 1 The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.

The source of parental gladness or sorrow. To a large degree, children are entrusted with their parents’ happiness. A father who has a wise son will be glad; a mother with a foolish son will be heavy with sorrow. Especially when they are young, children do not fully understand their influence on their parents’ emotional well-being. But when sons and daughters are older, when they are married and have their own families, they should recognize even then the importance of making their parents glad. If for no other reason than this, they should seek wisdom.

A man may, when his son is small, think of the boy’s future success, fame, or wealth. But as the years go by these things fade into insignificance, and he realizes that the most important quality his child could have is wisdom.

Sometimes, in their desperation for their children to be wise and avoid mistakes, parents will do unwise things and actually drive their children toward the very things they hope to help them avoid. A parent must find a delicate balance between protecting and guiding children and releasing the children. At some point, parents must be willing to release their children to make mistakes.

Nothing parents can do will guarantee their children will always make the right decisions. Even God, the perfect father, who had two children and placed them in a perfect environment, saw both of them fail. If He had never released them to fail, they would actually have been puppets, without the power of choice. The most powerful impact parents can have on children is the example they set before them. Formal teaching is of little value without the actual demonstration of what is taught.

The “Daily Wisdom” posts are drawn from my book Ancient Wisdom for Today’s World, a verse-by-verse commentary on the Book of Proverbs. This book was first published by Word Aflame Press in 1990, and it has been through six reprintings.

One pastor told me he required all graduates from the Christian school operated by the church he pastored to read this book. It has also been used for daily devotions. Since Proverbs has thirty-one chapters, if each day you read the chapter matching the day of the month, you will have read through the Book of Proverbs twelve times each year. When you do this, you begin to think in terms of the inspired wisdom found in this book.

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