Motivation to Drive Out Foolishness
9 February 2020 PM – Proverbs 22:15 – Fools – Scott Childs

Introduction: Some years ago, woodchucks began to dig under the foundation of my dad’s barn. Woodchucks, also called groundhogs, are a fury animal, about 40 cm long and weighing about 4 kg, with a passion to dig tunnels under buildings. This motivated my dad to drive them out. He trapped them and shot them. Gradually it seems that he got the better of them, but not before they did extensive damage to the cement floor of his barn.

Foolishness, like a woodchuck, will undermine a person’s life and ruin the foundation, often permanently. For this reason, God instructs parents to work at removing the foolishness from their children.

Transition: Our text is a strong exhortation from God, and I find in the book of Proverbs two motivations to fulfil this exhortation.

The first motivation is that …

1.        Foolish Children will Grieve You

a.         Foolish children give heaviness
1)         (Proverbs 10:1) “The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.”
2)         The word translated “heaviness” describes something that is a grief, heaviness, or sorrow.
a)         A foolish child will do wrong things.
b)         A foolish child will disobey the wise counsel of parents.
(1)      It is common for children, especially teens, to think that their parents are out of touch with current life. They think that their parents just do not understand them.
(2)      On the contrary, your parents can often remember clearly the feelings, struggles and temptations they had at your age.
(3)      Those memories urge Godly parents will put up fences around your life to keep you from straying into foolishness and sinfulness.
c)         ILLUS: The electric fences we had on our farm were for the good of our cattle (to keep them out of fields that could make them sick and to keep them safely on our property). They were also for our peace of mind. Fences are not bad; they are good!
3)         When a child is foolish, he becomes a grief, heaviness and sorrow to his parents, especially to mum. God wants parents to drive this from your heart.
b.         Foolish children despise their mothers
1)         (Proverbs 15:20) “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.”
2)         To despise your mother is to disrespect what she says. It is to treat her rules as worthless. It is to become rebellious or bitter towards her motherly advice.
3)         This type of disrespect and rebellion hurts dad as well, but it especially cuts to the heart of your mum.
4)         God says that children who despise their mothers are fools. If you have a disrespectful attitude, you are acting like a fool.
5)         Godly parents will work diligently to drive this foolishness out of your heart.
c.          Foolish children give sorrow and sadness
1)         (Proverbs 17:21) “He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.”
2)         When you disobey, make sinful choices, say bad things, have a bad attitude or rebel against God’s word, this brings great sorrow and sadness to your parents. It also gives God sorrow and sadness. Remember what God said in Colossians 3:20! “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”
3)         Every child is born a fool, but God has charged parents to weed out that foolishness and seek to replace it with wisdom. This will please them as well as God.
d.         Foolish children give grief and bitterness
1)         (Proverbs 17:25) “A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.”
2)         Since wisdom is the God-given ability to make right choices, then acting like a fool is rejecting God’s guidance when making life’s decisions.
3)         Without God’s wisdom, you will foolishly make choices to think, do, and say things that God says are wrong.
4)         If your thoughts, deeds and words identify you as a fool, you will grieve your godly father and cause bitter pain in the heart of your godly mother.
5)         This is another motivation for godly parents to drive foolishness out of your heart.
e.         Foolish children bring disaster
1)         (Proverbs 19:13) “A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.”
2)         To be a calamity is to be a disaster or a ruin.
a)         A foolish child can ruin a parent’s admiration.
b)         A foolish child can ruin the family reputation.
c)         A foolish child can ruin his father’s expectations.
3)         This is another admonition to parents to live in close fellowship with the Lord, to work together in constant harmony, to live consistent examples, to instruct their children daily in the scriptures, to guard their children with sufficient vigilance, to discipline biblically, and to pray continually and fervently for their children.
The second motivation is that …

2.        Wise Children will Gladden You
a.         Wise children give gladness
1)         (Proverbs 10:1) “The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.”
2)         (Proverbs 15:20) “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.”
3)         (Proverbs 27:11) “My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.”
4)         The word “glad” means to rejoice.
a)         Gladness will put a song in the heart and a smile on the face. (Proverbs 15:13) “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”
b)         Gladness invigorates. (Proverbs 15:15) “All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.”
c)         It improves health. (Proverbs 17:22) “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
5)         You can make your parents glad, put a song in their heart and a smile on their face and even improve their health by living wisely. Make that your goal!
b.         Wise children give joy
1)         (Proverbs 23:15) “My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.”
2)         (Proverbs 23:24) “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.”
3)         The word translated “rejoice” is the same Hebrew word translated glad in the verses we just examined.
4)         Here Solomon reminds his son that if he has a wise heart that will cause his dad’s heart to rejoice.
5)         The very same is true in our homes today. Children, you have the ability to bring great joy and gladness into the hearts of your parents if you will wisely submit to their leadership and obey God’s Word.
6)         One of the greatest gifts a child can give his or her parents is the gift of rejoicing. You can do it by living wisely and not as a fool.
Conclusion: Parents, every child is born with the same problem, he or she has foolishness bound in the heart. God tells us that biblical discipline will drive that foolishness far from him. That is a blessed promise.

As parents, next to glorifying God with our lives, our number one duty is to rear our children to bring glory to God. It is a huge task with a limited time.

Once our children leave home, our influence is limited primarily to prayer for them. Drive out foolishness while you can.

Song: Work, for the Night is Coming 439