FATHERS TEACH; CHILDREN HEED
Date: July 31
Proverbs 13:1, 18
"A wise son heeds [and is the fruit of] his father's instruction and correction, but a scoffer listens not to rebuke."
"Poverty and shame come to him who refuses instruction and correction, but he who heeds reproof is honored."
Both of these verses go in line with one another and they both teach us the same thing. They teach us that fathers are to instruct and correct their children, and children are to heed to their father's instruction. Fathers have to take time every day to teach and bless their children. But unfortunately, many fathers don't do that. They don't teach and correct their children. Many of them are absent from the lives of their children. They don't spend time with them. They don't teach them. And they often don't understand why their children are rebelling or getting involved with things they shouldn't be. A lot of that has to do with the father's involvement in a child's life.
For example, if you look at society ills today, most of the people in jail are single males who didn't have a good relationship with their fathers. If their fathers had only spent time with them, then their lives would probably be much different today. In the last verse of the Old Testament in Malachi 4:6 we read, "And he shall turn and reconcile the hearts of the [estranged] fathers to the [ungodly] children, and the hearts of the [rebellious] children to [the piety of] their fathers [a reconciliation produced by repentance of the ungodly], lest I come and smite the land with a curse and a ban of utter destruction." So when the hearts of fathers are turned towards their children and the hearts of children are turned towards their fathers, then God will not strike the earth with a curse.
So when the relationship between the fathers and their children and vice versa is not the way it should be, then the land is living under a curse. It's a blessing to have a father teach and correct his children. And it's an even greater blessing when his children listen and obey those teachings. As a father, it's important for me to teach my children about everything that's needed to be successful in life, including their faith in God, diligence in work, dealing with money, marriage relationships, raising their own children one day, and anything else that is of importance to me. Whatever I find important should be what I teach my children. When my children heed to my instruction, then that is a blessing for me but it is a blessing for them as well.
It says here in Proverbs 13:1a, "A wise son heeds [and is the fruit of] his father's instruction and correction…" So in other words, when your children heed to your instruction, then they will become wise. When you heed to your own father's instruction, then you will become wise as well. That wisdom will make you successful. So really, wisdom comes from obedience. Then we read in the second part of verse 1, "but a scoffer listens not to rebuke." A scoffer is someone who ridicules. Someone like that will not listen to rebuke nor will he accept correction. Someone like that will never have wisdom, and as a result, he will never be prosperous.
Actually it says in verse 18a, "Poverty and shame come to him who refuses instruction and correction." So that confirms that rebellion will only lead to poverty. If you don't want to heed to instruction and correction, then you're going to become poor and shameful. That's the end result of willful defiance. That doesn't sound like a very good end result to me. Let's read the rest of verse 18, "but he who heeds reproof is honored." To heed reproof means to accept correction. Those who do that will be honored. So not only will you receive wisdom (as we read in verse 1), but you'll also receive honor. Others will see that you follow instructions and accept correction, and as a result they will begin to honor and respect you. To me that sounds like a better end result!
Your actions will make an awful lot of difference in how others will perceive you. If you disobey, neglect, reject, and despise discipline, then others will see that and they won't respect or honor you. But if you take to heart what your father has taught you, then God will give you wisdom, honor, and prosperity. If you, as a father, teach your children good instruction from the Word of God, then God will give your children wisdom, honor, and prosperity. So just as we read in the Book of Malachi, it's so important for fathers to turn their hearts towards their children and teach and correct them. But it's also important for children to turn their hearts to their fathers and heed to that instruction. When that happens, then we can be sure that God will bless our land!