Parents Should Exemplify Godly Living
‘Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance. Proverbs 29:3’
Children can make or break parents. A son loving wisdom brings great joy to his parents. A foolish son befriending whores grieves their hearts, as they watch his ruinous lifestyle.
This proverb should demand your close attention. There is much more here than just an observation by Solomon. There is a lesson and warning for both parents and children.
Parents should fear this painful disappointment and great waste of their lives. They should soberly and faithfully fulfill their duties to commit their children to the Lord, pray for their children, exemplify godly living, and never relax Bible methods to train them.
Children should consider the terror not stated in this proverb. From the rest of Solomon’s proverbs and the rest of the Bible, God clearly warns of horrible destruction coming to children that grieve their parents (Pr 20:20; I Tim 5:8).
The warning that children affect parents – bringing them joy or sorrow – has been repeated in other proverbs (Pr 10:1). But there are details given in this proverb that expand the lesson for your learning.
As with many of the proverbs, there are two clauses that should be compared and contrasted, carefully and completely, in all their details. A hasty reading without due consideration will cost you the full lesson and warning that God gave Solomon.
A son pleasing his father loves wisdom, is sexually pure, and financially prudent. These three things are intended, though two are unstated, by reading the second clause. A son that hates wisdom, associates with whores, and is a spendthrift grieves his father, where hating wisdom and grieving his father is understood by reading the first clause.
A son that loves wisdom is a prince. Loving wisdom is as high as the bar can go – it proves a noble son and brings God’s favor in his life (Pr 8:17,21). Wisdom is the principal thing, and it is a good man’s chief goal (Pr 4:7). If a father wonders about his son’s heart, he only needs to measure his love of wisdom.
What is wisdom? It is the power of right judgment, including the knowledge that eternal things of heaven far outstrip the temporal things of this life. What is the love of wisdom? It is the aggressive zeal to sacrifice things of this life so esteemed by others in order to obtain the better things of the next life despised by others (Pr 18:1; Heb 11:24-26).
What is wisdom? It is an independent, active, zealous fear of God (Pr 1:7). It is to hate evil (Pr 8:13). It is to study God’s word (Ps 19:7-11). It is the love of Christ, the Man of wisdom (II Cor 5:14-17). It is to hate foolish and evil men (Pr 13:20).
A young man’s wisdom will result in a disciplined and temperate approach to sex and money. He will be a virgin when he marries; he will marry only in the Lord; he will wait for his father’s approval; he will be faithful to one wife for life. He hates foolish and whorish women, and he avoids them with great care (Pr 2:16-19).
He will work hard, give liberally, save frugally, avoid debt, and build his estate with a prudent eye to the future. Wisdom includes financial understanding, though by itself it proves nothing beyond ants and squirrels. But coupled with the fear of the Lord, strong men retain riches (Pr 11:16). He climbs professionally by godly methods (Pr 22:11,29).
Parents rejoice at such a life, knowing God is glorified, the kingdom of heaven served, and their family tree in good hands. They rejoice in heart; they praise him; they share their joy. They live confidently with his life defending them (Pr 27:11; Ps 127:5). They thankfully approach their departure from this life, knowing they have left a godly legacy.
One Son gave His Father perfect joy – Jesus Christ (Matt 3:7). He perfectly loved wisdom, sought it, and obeyed it His entire life (Is 11:1-5). He only dealt with harlots to demand repentance, which He did with great success (Matt 21:28-32). He also demanded financial integrity of friend and foe (Luke 21:1-4). Let Him be your example and ambition of pleasing your Father in heaven.