The most mentioned relationship in Proverbs is that of father and son. Most of the time it included instruction, directions or “discipline.”
While the Hebrew term “discipline” does include the concept of punishment, it has a primary meaning of instruction. This is the same instruction/discipline you would give to an athlete, or even the discipline of being a disciple (both have the same Latin root word – “to teach or to charge”).
Such appropriate instruction to “your son” would be a critical part of his development into the man he should be. And any father or mother can tell us how much that will “give you peace” and “bring delight to your soul.”
But, of course, we can apply this verse to any relationship where we have supervision, mentoring or sponsoring roles. In Baltimore they call it practicing “the Ravens Way” to prepare a player’s heart, mind and body for winning professional football.
Making such investments in those under our leadership is appropriate use of our time, energy and resources. As the son in this verse listened and followed instruction, his good choices and actions made him a good man. No doubt his ancient Israelite father was also thinking that this now-grown man would be in a good place to help care for him in their old age! A wise investment, indeed!