The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
We may take it for granted, as commonly understood -
I. THAT THE FOUNDATION DUTY AND INTEREST, with us all, is to be in a right relation, personally, with God. Until we are right with God we must be wrong altogether. Then we must contend -
II. THAT THE QUESTION OF NEXT VITAL CONSIDERATION is the character of our children, it is conceivable that God might have placed the human world on an entirely different basis than that of the family. But he has rested it on the human home. This is that decision of our Creater which makes the greatest difference to us and to our life. How much it is to those who are parents that they are such! How would their life have been another and a smaller thing without that pure and sacred bond! What deep chasms of experience has it opened! what fountains of feeling has it unsealed! what secrets of life has it unlocked! What heights of joy, what depths of sorrow, has it made possible to the heart!
III. THAT THERE IS A SONSHIP WHICH GLADDENS, as there is one that grieves, the parental heart. Who is the wise son (of the text)? Not necessarily the learned, or the clever, or the prosperous son. A child may be any or all of these, and yet may be a grief and not a joy, a shame and not an honour, to his parents. It is he who has learnt wisdom of God, who has sat diligently and effectually at the feet of that great Teacher who came to be the Wisdom of God. It is he
(1) who has found his home and his heritage in a Divine Father;
(2) Who has secured an unfailing Friend in a Divine Redeemer;
(3) who has stored his mind with eternal truth and filled his soul with everlasting principles;
(4) who is building up his Character by the teaching, and regulating his life by the will, of Jesus Christ, This is the son of whom the father will never be ashamed, who will not use the language which it would pain him to hear, nor choose the friends he would be unwilling to acknowledge, nor be guilty of the conduct it would wound him to witness. This is the son on whose character and on whose life, in all its phases and developments, he looks with profoundest gratitude and unspeakable delight.
IV. THAT THE CHARACTER OF OUR CHILDREN depends mainly on ourselves. They will:
1. Believe what we teach them.
2. Follow the example we set them.
3. Catch the spirit we manifest in their presence. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.