Persons & Relationships
‘A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping. Proverbs 19:13’
Two horrible things can happen to a man. He can marry an odious woman, or he can have foolish children. Both are disasters and make marriage and children very sober matters. The persons and relationships that should be for help and pleasure become like enemies. It is wisdom to carefully consider these potential threats and avoid them at all costs.
This proverb is priceless. The two matters at stake are very serious – an unhappy marriage or shameful children. Either one tortures and destroys a man over many years. A man enduring both faces daily pain hard to describe in words. But God gave this proverb by King Solomon to save you from both evils, and He reduced it down to one single, simple rule. Glorious wisdom! Incredible mercy and kindness! Keep reading!
Therefore, let every man take great care how he marries and how his sons marry. Young fools do not know how to judge women, so fathers must help them, lest they are consigned to fifty years with this woman. Fathers, by the very nature of the relationship, you have more experience in marriage to a woman than your son has in the ignorance and folly of childhood and youth. You have been married longer than he has been alive!
A calamity is very grievous affliction or adversity; it is deep distress, trouble, and misery. It is a painful disaster. It is the turning of things upside down. It is a catastrophe and tragedy that bleeds the vitality from a father’s heart. This does not overstate the grief caused by a foolish son, for a son instead should be the joy of his father’s heart. And where a father could be thankful and honored, he is instead bewildered and despised.
Let every son, of any age, examine himself in the only honest mirror – the word of God (Jas 1:21-26). Are you a joy to your father? Or are there things you know you should be doing better? Correct them! Reject the insolent notions of your wicked generation and your rebellious thoughts of folly. Read God’s opinion about young men, as Proverbs clearly declares. Then prove your own work and rejoice in yourself (Pr 14:14; Gal 6:4-5).
Both dangers to your happiness and success, an odious wife or a foolish son, are solved by one simple rule – the fear of the LORD. If you marry a woman that truly fears the LORD, you will have a jewel for life (I Pet 3:1-6). If you teach your son the same fear from early days, he will rejoice your heart (Ps 34:11). It is this simple, and the only wise God and history’s wisest king wrote it down for you. Priceless!
Dear Christian reader, what kind of a wife and son are you to your Husband and Father in heaven? Does your Bridegroom rejoice in your constant fidelity, passionate love, and joyful submission? Or are you an odious stench in His house? Is your Heavenly Father pleased with the blessing of adopting you? Or are you a son that needs to be chastened often? Let every reader examine himself to fulfill his Husband’s and Father’s desires.
And further, dear reader, the proverb teaches the disappointment of this world’s greatest privileges and pleasures, even though ordained by a perfect Creator. The very things prized very highly, marriage and children, can so easily bring the greatest miseries. Without His grace, all is vanity and vexation of spirit! Here is the great lesson that God alone must be the portion and the treasure of your soul (Matt 6:19-21).