In this verse, Father tells his son to “be wise.” It’s the kind of thing most fathers would say to their sons and daughters.
In this case, father notes that his son’s wisdom will “bring joy to my heart.” Parents know that feeling when their children are succeeding – as well as the terrible pain of watching them make poor decisions and having to live with the consequences.
But many of us have also mentored, sponsored and supported others who have gone on to accomplish meaningful things. We can feel as proud as parents!
“Then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.”
The second line of this wise saying suggests that son’s wisdom – as a source of joy to his father’s heart – actually provides encouragement and empowerment to dad as he goes through tough times in life.
Most of us know what it is to draw on strength from a specific situation or an important relationship that helps us through difficult times.
So the message of this wise saying is that we shouldn’t try to go through life as a “Lone Ranger” – flying solo – thinking I have to do it all, myself. We’re supposed to benefit from meaningful relationships with others and that will help empower in hard times.
This proverb always reminds me of Peter’s directive to believers:
“…always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” (1 Peter 3:15).
We’re supposed to be able to do this. It’s the result of meaningful relationships – with God and good people!