Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 15:20
"A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother"
There are few things that bring as much joy to parents as watching their children make wise choices and living a wise life. The whole process of watching your children – those you love and care for – turn away from evil and selfishness and embracing good, kindness, and love produces a deep abiding satisfaction in the heart of a parent.
The reason that a child makes wise decisions is because of the work of the parents to a large extent. The child has choices to make, and they can decide to mess up their lives in spite of their upbringing; but a wise parent usually produces a wise child. A parent who trains up their child in the way they should go will have a child who goes in that way.
Raising this type of child takes constant vigilance in prayer, in listening, in the relationships that your child is engaged with, in pointing out right from wrong, in showing the difference between wisdom and foolishness, and a hundred other things.
On the other hand, Solomon is absolutely right that a deeply selfish person despises all the lessons of their parents. The selfish child produces a deep grief in a parent’s heart that does not go away – as Solomon points out in other proverbs.
So the point is: Don't just let your child wander into selfish behavior. Don't let them hang out with undesirable people. Don't let them make foolish decisions with no correction. Get involved. Parent your children. Understand the decisions that they are facing. Know who they are hanging out with. Speak up when they are saying wrong things, doing bad things, and acting in inappropriate ways. It will not be corrected unless someone redirects them. The easiest time to redirect them is when they are still under your roof. It is inconvenient for you, but it is the easiest time to make a mid-course correction for them.
Notice what Solomon says here: The foolish child despises his mother. Therefore when a child begins to move in this direction, it must be stopped. In our culture it is considered normal that children would despise their parents when they are teenagers. It may be average, but it is not normal. Their desire for independence pushes them along with help from peers and the media to reject the ideas and direction of their parents and be their own person. This way of selfishness is a destructive way, and they should be dissuaded from this course in every way possible. It is not okay for teens to hate their parents. It is not okay or normal for teens to rebel from their moms. Wherever the toxic input of rebellion and hate is coming from in your child's life, it should be stopped.
If you want your children to give you joy, then you must stay engaged in the parenting process. I tell my girls all the time that they will make me so proud when they make decisions like I would make in similar situations. They know how I would act; and if they will act and decide in a similar manner, then they will save themselves a host of problems. They will be tempted to do evil to be accepted. They will be tempted to be selfish to please their own desires. They will be tempted to rebel in order to be cool. Don't follow these temptations. They want to seduce you to a messed-up life. Hundreds – even thousands – of other children every year will be sucked into these traps and many will not escape. Don't be one of them.