Proverbs 23:15 My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.
As a parent, I always want the best for my children. I also want them to make the right decisions. When they are young, we often made decisions for them. We can guide them, teach them and set examples but ultimately the time comes when they have to make their own decisions. It is the times that they are making their own decisions that we learn if their hearts are wise. And if they are, as parents, we smile. We are happy
If my son’s heart is wise, several good things are happening. First he is making good decisions. He has taken or learned good advice and is using that advice and wisdom in his decision making. He is seeking wisdom, seeking the right path. His motives are right. A wise heart puts God first, everything else second. He is making me proud of his decisions.
Verse 15 comes right after verses that speak of disciplinary actions on children. One speaks of negative reinforcement and one speaks to positive reinforcement. Both describe consequences of actions. Discipline for bad choices, joy to parents for good choices. While one is not pleasant and the other one is, both are needed.
I think most people want to make family members, especially parents, happy and proud of them. As a child it was easy to see the joy and happiness in our parents that was caused by our wise decisions and wise behavior. It is a form of positive reinforcement. It was even easier to see the pain and disappointment we caused when we make foolish choices. While there may or may not have been a rod involved, knowing the pain bad decisions caused was negative reinforcement.
While this is written as advice from an earthly father to his son, this verse also speaks to God’s feelings toward us as His children. If we have wise hearts, our Heavenly Father is glad.
Our Heavenly Father is glad because we are acting according to His will, not ours. Our motives and purpose are His. We are keeping Him first in our lives and, when we don’t, we realize our shortcomings and seek forgiveness and ways to change our behavior.
So, what are ways I can ensure I have a wise heart? Here are several:
Put Him first in ALL things
Consistently pray and be in the word.
Share the gospel with others and be bold in the truth of the gospel
Examine my heart, my motives. Think before I act.
Surround myself with others that are wise.
Father, I have often made bad decisions and disappointed You. I have not always been wise, sought wisdom or had a heart that made you glad or proud. I thank You for the love and patience you have shown me, the forgiveness You have given to me and I thank You for the people in my life that are good examples and help me to stay focused on You.