Pro 17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
Have you ever done anything stupid or really foolish? 🙂 I think we all have those skeletons in our closets, but we like to keep that door closed & locked from others. Yet this proverb above is about that very thing. The word “foolish” in this verse of sacred scripture means stupid or ridiculously foolish.
It is specifically speaking of a child who is responsible for the reputation of a family as a son or even a daughter who does some stupid or ridiculously foolish antic that brings disrepute on his or her family name. Have you ever been there or done that? Oh yeah, we are all fallible to youthful decisions of which we later regret.
But the interesting thing about this proverb in the Bible is the difference in the reaction of the parents. Notice that this same foolishness in one’s child produces grief in a father, but it brings bitterness to a mother’s heart. It is the same action by a child, but the responses of the parents are quite different!
When a son or daughter makes a stupid or really foolish decision, it causes him “grief.” The Hebrew word used here is literally vexation in a father’s heart. That could take its toll in him as indignation, anger, sorrow, or provocation such as being extremely provoked. The reaction to his child’s dumb decision causes a father to be incredulous that his namesake, his bloodline, & the apple of his eye has violated his father this way. It causes him to naturally respond in a knee jerk fashion with the grief of irritation or in some cases with broken sorrow.
But a mother’s heart is a whole different ball game. Because she bore this child from her own body, a totally foolish decision brings “bitterness” to her in her heart. This Hebrew word does not carry the idea as in English of distastefulness or resentment, but rather the mother’s heart is filled with extreme sorrow of a grieving nature. Rather than being irritated like her husband, she is more likely to be filled with overflowing sorrow that swamps her emotions. Often that is why she is overcome with tears & broken heartedness. It is not for her reputation that she aches, but for her wounded child that she sorrows.
As this Mother’s Day approaches, we would do well to remember our own mother’s heart for us. Each dumb decision that you did wounded her deeply causing motherly grief & caring sorrow. Wherein your father may have been outraged at such stupidity, your loving mother with her caring, forgiving heart for you as her child, wanted nothing more than that you would be restored for your own benefit & for God’s glory.
A mother’s heart is a treasure to each of her children. If you have or had such a mother, then this is the season to honor her in deep appreciation. As this Mother’s Day approaches, think now how you can best show her the love that you have for her as her adoring child. You will never regret it, but if you fail to do this, you may have regrets for the rest of your life. And if she is already gone, you might want to write her a letter expressing everything that you would like to say to her personally but cannot. It might not do her any good at this juncture, but it will be wonderfully therapeutic for you.