- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 27:11
"Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may reply to him who reproaches me"
One of the greatest joys for parents is to see their children making wise decisions. This proverb is directed at the children so that they can know how to please their parents. Live a wise life and your parents will pop for joy.
This is the Hebrew word hakam which means to act wisely or to be wise. While acting wise is the discussion of this whole book of Proverbs, a shorthand version of this wisdom is making the choice that will bring glory to God, a win to others, and a win to myself. That is what wisdom is.
When a parent sees their children honoring God with their actions and their decisions and pushing past selfishness, it ministers to the heart of a parent. Never underestimate the joy you can bring to your parents by living in a righteous and wise fashion. On the other hand, few things bring more grief than watching their children make one impulsive, selfish, rebellious decision after another.
This is the Hebrew word samah which means rejoice, joyful, merry. Many things are said to produce gladness and joy in the Scripture but the common denominator is deep and right relationships. When people live right, there is joy. When people are deeply connected with each other, there is joy. When things are going the way God intended in His perfect will, there is joy.
Don't miss joy by being selfish. You may have pleasure for a season but you will miss long-term joy.
This proverb does point out that our actions affect more than just us. What we do impacts those above us and those below us.
This is the Hebrew word harap which means reproach, defy, scorn, etc. The idea is that various people will come to you and say that your work and your life are of no account or don't matter. The greatest comeback to that is, "I must have done something right – look at my kids. They are wise and doing extremely well."
Parents long for their kids to have all the success in the world with none of the troubles and trials.
My kids ask me what I would want for my birthday and they roll their eyes when I say "wise kids." But really that is what every parent wants – mature, wise, and godly kids.
One of the things that kids don't think about until it is usually too late is, "What would my life look like if I actually lived the way my parents wanted?" Usually they are so busy pushing back against some rule or trying to do something that they know they shouldn't do that they think their parents are terrible and ogres. But their parents are not trying to ruin their life, they are trying to give their kids a head start on success, and they want them to avoid the problems that they made.
If children could sit back and ask, "What if I just lived the way my parents wanted me to, what would it look like?" It usually isn't that bad and it usually comes with a huge upside – no hassles from your parents, and it usually also comes with success in school and other areas. Give it a try. Look at the big picture. Your parents are not trying to wreck your fun; they are trying to keep you out of trouble.