Proverbs 23:22-25 Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.
Parents delight in children that listen more than children who are successful. Thankfully there has been a growing trend among thought leaders, both religious (Don’t Waste Your Life) and secular (Ego Is The Enemy), to emphasize the importance of seeking wisdom over wealth. In the second book I came across one of the most startling quotes I’ve ever read. It’s from Napoleon, a man of unbridled ambition and self aggrandizement. He says, “Men of great ambition have sought happiness… and have found fame”. That made me stop and do some very serious thinking. If you go after happiness thinking it’s obtained through wealth and power, than sometimes all you get is fame, and that can be a huge inconvenience.
Instead of making wealth, power, or education the goal, strive to instill greater virtues in your kids like wisdom, honesty, kindness, perseverance, tenacity, and innovation. Develop these core disciplines and the rest will fall in place.
We should give our children something worth listening to. They are the ones addressed in these verses. Children must decide at some point to listen to their parents, and normally this is the best choice. But verse 23 extends the circle of influence. You also need to be willing to exchange money for truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
This means you need an education. It can be formal or informal. It can be a degree in chemical engineering or a license in solar panel installation. The mandate is to (buy) invest so that you can do something useful and earn it back many times over. Then as you maintain your integrity and make good decisions, your dad will be proud of you. If you grow up to be man or woman of character then mom will rejoice. A rich but dishonest son is a disgrace. But parents of righteous and wise children are proud to be related.