Listen my son.
Pay attention to what I say.
These are but a few of the ways Solomon calls to his children, but the frequency of such calls leads us to believe he thought what he had to say was important for his children to hear and he appears to be proactive in sharing his wisdom with his children.
But was he really? Or is he writing in a way he would have liked to have acted, the father sitting down with his child, talking about life, sharing what’s important?
Being wise doesn’t always mean to act wise.
In any case, from the Proverbs we learn that it is important to listen to the wisdom that comes from the marriage of education and experience. And then, it is important to add to that wisdom the results of your own experience, and pass that on to your children.
Parents always have more wisdom than their children. It cannot be otherwise, for no matter how much education a child has, it means precious little without experience and experience can only come with age.
The father in Proverbs believes he has something valuable to offer. He believes it is worth passing on to his children. He believes listening to his advice is important, and he sounds that way when he speaks.
Children, of course, always want to go their own way. They believe they know best.
But, in general, they don’t, and it is a failure of a parent who believes his child can do without his direction. Neglecting to give it dooms the child to all the failures he could have avoided if the parent had only had the courage to speak up. When the child fails to listen, the parent should remind the child: “If you had listened, this failure would not be yours.”
You cannot say that, however, if you failed to give the advice in the first place.