The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
Dissect & Define
Proverbs means a story with an underlying meaning. Wise is skilled in living. Glad is joy used in moderation. Foolish means to know right, but to choose wrong. Heaviness means to place pressure downward; that is to say, to depress. Heaviness is an old English word for the modern English word depression.
This chapter begins with a reminder from Solomon that his truths have underlying meanings. They are proverbs. He tells that a son that has skill in life will bring a father a type of joy that is used in moderation. It’s much like happiness, except it is more permanent. I guess you could call it fatherly pride. But a son that knows right and chooses wrong will depress his mother.
My Behavior & It’s Effects On My Family
Growing up, I had never heard my dad tell me he was proud of me. As I started to backslide, my mother became very concerned. I remember one night, I returned home from an all-night party and saw her bedroom light on. Dad was leaving for work, so I asked him what she was doing. He replied, “She wakes up every morning at 4:30 to pray for you and your brothers to come back to church.” It broke my heart to hear of the heaviness of my mother. Wow! I had never experienced such sorrow as I did that day.
Years later, I gave my life to the Lord and RU began. One day my dad looked at me and said, “Son, I am proud of you!” Wow! I have never experienced such joy.
Our Behavior Determines Moments In Life
My dad provided me with my most joyous moment in life and my mother my most discouraging moment in life. Yet both moments were caused by my behavior, whether good or bad.
Thus, I believe the underlying meaning in this verse is teaching us that our fathers focus on our high points in life and help us get there. But mothers focus on our low points in life and help us get out of there.