Skip to main content

I recently had the privilege of marrying my son to a lovely young woman. As expected, their hearts were full of joy. But the hearts of all four parents were filled with joy as well. When our children make wise choices, we rejoice. I think children need to know that – even from an early age.


A wise son makes a glad father,
    but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother. Proverbs 10:1

We are connected.

As much as our teens and 20 somethings want to assert a rightful independence, it is important to remind them of something Proverbs teaches over and over.

We are connected.

Their wisdom will bring us joy and their foolishness will bring us pain.

I am not suggesting that we manipulate them with this fact or guilt them into something. But is easy for them to forget.

Good parents have poured their heart and soul into their children. They carry around a piece of us. We are attached by an invisible heart chord that, while different from the heart chord of marriage, is still real. They have no real idea of the many times we rocked them through the night or changed an exploding diaper that almost made us sick. They have no idea of the money we have invested or anxious waiting to hear them come in after a late night.

That’s ok. Nor do I have any sense of God’s full-hearted, costly love for me.

But I can plead with them to love wisdom. I can beg them to choose a life of Christ-wisdom and life-wisdom that will bring joy to their souls and mine. I can point out the choices in the world between the wise and the foolish.

And what do I do if my older children turn toward foolishness? By the grace of God, I can bear that suffering also. He will not be the first. The father of the prodigal waited patiently without bitterness though shamed and taken advantage of.

My joy will come from the Lord not my children. Though my heart is connected to my children it is not controlled by my children. But I will continue to pray for and speak of Christ-wisdom and life-wisdom.


I have included my full list from Proverbs below. It might make good family devotions or meditations.

Proverbs Speaks

Proverbs 10:1

A wise son makes a glad father,
    but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

Proverbs 29:3

He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
    but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

Proverbs 13:1

A wise son hears his father’s instruction,
    but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

Proverbs 15:5

A fool despises his father’s instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.

Proverbs 15:20

A wise son makes a glad father,
    but a foolish man despises his mother.

Proverbs 17:25

A foolish son is a grief to his father
    and bitterness to her who bore him.

Proverbs 19:13

A foolish son is ruin to his father,
    and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.

Proverbs 19:26

He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother
    is a son who brings shame and reproach.

Proverbs 20:7

The righteous who walks in his integrity—
    blessed are his children after him!

Proverbs 23:19

Hear, my son, and be wise,
    and direct your heart in the way.

Proverbs 23:22-25

Listen to your father who gave you life,
    and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Buy truth, and do not sell it;
    buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
    he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
Let your father and mother be glad;
    let her who bore you rejoice.

Proverbs 23:26

My son, give me your heart,
    and let your eyes observe my ways.

Proverbs 27:11

Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
    that I may answer him who reproaches me.

Proverbs 30:11

There are those who curse their fathers
    and do not bless their mothers.

Proverbs 30:17

The eye that mocks a father
    and scorns to obey a mother
will be picked out by the ravens of the valley
    and eaten by the vultures.