Parents have an obligation to teach their children the wisdom of God and children have an obligation to listen and act on their wisdom. In Proverbs 1:9, the child who heeds his parents’ instruction is being made beautiful through wisdom.
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching… (Proverbs 1:8)
A wise son listens to his father and puts into practise the teaching of his mother.
This is not a command for all kids to blindly obey anything. It is a call to obey the voice of wisdom. Wisdom is derived, not innate. It comes from outside ourselves, and hopefully, works its way in through consistent godly teaching.
The Proverb is speaking of godly parents and their godly teaching (and so the word used for a mother’s teaching here is the Hebrew word, ‘Torah’, which in scripture implies the law and commandments of God).
Parents have an obligation as the primary educators of their children and children have an obligation to heed their parents’ instructions.
The mention of a mother as a key instructor is rare in ancient literature, but not in scripture.
Timothy was influenced by the faith of his mother and grandmother.
It is also interesting to note that throughout Kings where the mother is Hebrew, the king tends to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord (1 Kings 22:42; 2 Kings 15:2). When the mother is foreign (Gentile or pagan) the king tends to turn out rotten (1 Kings 14:31; 2 Kings 8:26).
If you give your kids over to pagan instructors, don’t be surprised if they turn out to be little pagans who plunder (Proverbs 1:13-14).
If you guard and guide your kids in the teaching and instruction of God, and they heed it, don’t be surprised to see them fruitful and standing straight and tall in a crooked world.
That’s what wisdom does. It makes people and things handsome.
For they are a garland of grace on your head, and a pendant around your neck (Proverbs 1:9)
Such ornaments were a mark of prosperity. But more importantly, the verse has in view the beauty and prosperity that comes from embracing wisdom.
Be the parent who teaches their kid the wisdom of God. Be the kid who listens and acts.