Parent and Child

For Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Proverbs 23:15-16

My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right.

So speaks a father, and so concurs a mother. Parents want what they perceive is good for their children. Most want their children not to suffer and to succeed in life in the various forms that success is measured. Mostly, they want their children to be happy. They may differ with their children about what makes up happiness or how to attain it. But to see their children content and happy contributes to their own happiness.

This proverb gets under the surface of outward happiness to what really matters to most parents - to have a child who is wise. It is the goal of the parent to guide a child to maturity, to discern between right and wrong, to make wise choices regarding friends, to apply oneself in education, to be dependable, to choose a good spouse, to take a career that is fulfilling and provides for one's needs, to raise good children of one's own, and thus complete the cycle.

The parent cannot disconnect his happiness from his child. He will grieve over a child's foolishness and rejoice over the child's wisdom. That is how it should be, for that is the natural relationship God has established between parent and child. We are connected to our children and to our parents. We cannot control others, but we can care about honoring our parents through our own pursuit of wisdom and about blessing our children through teaching and modeling wisdom. And we can honor our Father through pursuing the wisdom he has revealed in his Word and living out the "foolishness" of the Gospel.