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Make Glad the Heart of Your Father and Bring No Sorrow to Your Mother
Proverbs 10:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
The Proverbs of Solomon
10 The proverbs of Solomon.
A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
The proverbs of Solomon: The initial words of Proverbs chapter 10 leave us with no doubt as to who the author of the next section of the book of Proverbs is.
A wise son makes a glad father: The wise, shrewd (חָכָם chakam) son is one who has the capacity for understanding and discernment (Prov. 10:8), who has acquired the teachings of wisdom, whom we can trust to guide us. (Prov. 3:35) He has the good judgment to make wise decisions at every stage of his life on a daily basis. This, of course, makes the father happy or joyful. Proverbs 1:8 informs us as to where this wisdom comes from, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Solomon made known a good encouragement to follow the right path.
but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother: The Hebrew conjunction but is used throughout as a contrasting element. The foolish (כְּסִיל kesil) son hates knowledge as he lacks good judgment. His character is stupidity and rudeness, that is, one who completely lacks understanding, and who is rebellious in his ways. (Prov. 1:22) Stupidity, simplemindedness, devoid of wisdom, and good sense when it comes to ungodliness, are his characteristics, being completely unaware of his ignorance. This indeed grieves the heart of his mother.
The parents of a son or daughter who has forsaken the true worship of God suffer tremendous grief. Wise King Solomon focuses his attention on the grief of the mother, possibly suggesting that she grieves more deeply. Children’s decisions can impact the happiness of the father and cause their mother heartache. The wise son or daughter will evidence their wisdom daily and bring joy to both of his parents. Moreover, let all of us make glad the heart of our heavenly Father.
“A foolish son is a sorrow to his mother” means showing that the mother also has the responsibility to teach her children. She makes every effort to do so, hoping that when they grow older, they will not bring her shame because she failed to teach them. This shows her faithfulness to the Word of God. She earnestly wants her children to grow up instructed in the Christian way. She will do all that she can to teach her children.