“Make your dad glad. Give him lots of kisses. Make your dad glad, not sad. Give him lots of kisses!” These are the words to a song on a children's tape (yes, I said tape) that my boys listen to while driving in their grandma Tutu's car. So when we were reading from Proverbs 15:20 the other day I asked them, “How do you make your father glad?” They both immediately replied, “Give him lots of kisses!” It’s a cute song, but not exactly Biblical : ) The book of Proverbs repeats five times that a wise or righteous son makes his father glad. I read just as many times that a foolish son brings grief and sadness to his father. The Bible says that if you want your dad to be glad, then you ought to be wise!
I want my husband to be a “glad dad.” So as a mom, I want to teach my boys wisdom. I want to drive away the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts. Unfortunately, this is a long term process. Driving out foolishness does not happen in a day, a year, or even a decade. Each stage of childhood from birth through adolescence presents new faces of foolishness to extract and replace with wisdom. In fact, even through adulthood, we continue to deal with our foolish tendencies. But, the Bible promises that with consistent discipline and training, wisdom can be instilled into a young person’s life. In the day to day trenches of parenting, I grasp onto this promise. When I’ve corrected for the tenth time and I’m starting to sound like a broken record (yes I said record), I remember that “all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11 ).
Now, I am not suggesting that training children in wisdom should be solely the mom’s responsibility, but as the one who spends the most time with our children and has signed up for the job of teaching them daily, the diligent training of my sons is a gift that I can give my husband every day, not just on father’s day. It must be a relief to him to know that while he is taking his job seriously to provide financial stability for our family, I am taking my job seriously to provide spiritual, social, and physical stability for our children.
Instilling wisdom into my children is the best father’s day present I could ever give my spouse.
I am a list person so I’ve listed out foolish and wise characteristics so I can see exactly what they would look like. I have found some of these very convicting in my own life and I definitely see where I have my work cut out for me in training my own children. I will let you decide how these characteristics apply in your own lives and in the lives of your children. All of these are taken directly from the book of Proverbs. For those of you with daughters: where the Bible says “son” I believe daughter can be inserted as well.
A WISE SON: makes his father glad, accepts his father's discipline, regards reproof, observes his father's command, does not forsake his mother's teaching, listens to his mother, keeps the law
A FOOLISH SON: assaults his father, brings destruction to his father, curses his father, robs his father, rejects his father's discipline, does not listen to reproof, mocks his father, forsakes his father, scorns his mother, grieves his mother, brings bitterness to his mother, drives his mother away, despises his mother, does not bless his mother, keeps company with harlots, is shameful and disgraceful, is a companion of gluttons, wastes his wealth, is friends with those who destroy.