Most of us understand the working (“gathers crops in summer”) vs. not working (“sleeps during harvest”) concept in this verse. Hard work in the summer heat to collect the available, minimal but valuable produce was a wise thing.
On the other hand, not working during the normal and essential spring grain harvest was disgraceful. If sons would only work like the ants do in summer and harvest (6:8)!
This verse is about activities, choices and character. Our activities are based on choices and our choices are based on our character. Consequently, our activities indicate the kind of people we are and how we will be known – at least that’s the way Jesus saw it (Mt 7:16-20).
But the other part of this verse is that my choices – good and bad – affect others. Here it is my parents. In agrarian ancient Israel, a family would greatly benefit or suffer from a son’s choices.
We are not islands unto ourselves and our choices will have an impact on those around us – especially those closest to us!