Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.Proverbs 29:3
There are at least six times in Proverbs where the idea of fathers rejoicing because of their wise sons is mentioned. This verse in Proverbs 29 is the last of the six that I found. Here are the other five passages.
The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.Proverbs 10:1
A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.Proverbs 13:1
A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.Proverbs 15:20
24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.Proverbs 23:24, 25
Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.Proverbs 28:7
Parents and Children
In each of the above verses, the words used for father and son are gender specific. However, I think it would be appropriate to take the male terms and allow them to generically apply to fathers and mothers as well as to sons and daughters.
Children are a treasure handed down from God (Psalms 127:3). We, as parents, have a responsibility to care for them and to help them grow in the way God would want (Proverbs 22:6).
Directed to Sons/Daughters
If you look at these verses you will see that Solomon is directing his comments to sons. He is not talking to fathers directly. The parents are recipients of the joy that a wise child brings into the family, but they are not being told directly to make the child wise.
Remember that wisdom is not only about the stuff you know in your head, but the understanding and application of that knowledge. We, as children, have to make the decision to apply the knowledge that we have been given.
Parents receive the blessing, delight, and joy of wise children. But it is the children who need to strive to obtain that wisdom.
Shame and Heaviness
These verses also tell us of the results of not acting wisely. We bring shame to our fathers (Proverbs 28:7) and heaviness to our mothers (Proverbs 10:1). A mocker (scorner) will not listen and learn from instruction (Proverbs 13:1). He will even come to a point of despising his mother (Proverbs 15:20).
What’s a Parent to Do?
While these verses aren’t directed towards parents with any action we need to take, that doesn’t mean that are free from our responsibilities to train and model wisdom for our children. The book of Proverbs is an example of a father teaching his son. We should do the same by passing on the wisdom that we have learned so that our children can grow into wise adults.
We should also be praying for them. Pray that you will handle your responsibilities as a parent properly. Also, pray that your children will respond properly to the instruction you are giving them.
May God help us all to be wise children for the joy of our parents, and to experience the joy of having our own children walking in the wisdom of God.