Father of a Righteous Man Rejoice

By Pastor Teck Uy

We are commanded in the Scriptures to honour our fathers. This is a command that promises a blessing to those who will obey it. But how can we honour them? Fathers are not to be honoured only once a year, but daily. The best way to honour them is to pursue righteousness. This will surely bring special joy. The Book of Proverbs confirms this when it says, “The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him” (Prov. 23:24).

A son who lives in righteousness brings joy to his father, but this does not come easily. Righteousness is not something that just comes naturally. It is something that has to be pursued vigorously. Moses emphasized this when he said, “The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God…and if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness” (Deut. 6:24-25). It is obeying the Lord’s commandments that will make us right before him and before men. On the contrary, disobedience will bring all kinds of trouble and grief and no one suffers more than fathers themselves. For this reason, fathers should ensure that their children will walk in righteousness. The first step that they should take is to live out the Scriptures themselves and teach their children to do the same. Again, Moses said, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deut. 6:6-9).

King Solomon also pointed out that wisdom brings joy to a father. He said, “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother” (Prov. 10:1). Again, wisdom does not come naturally; it is the result of the fear of the Lord. In Proverbs 9:10, we are told; “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. In contrast, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’. They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1). As a result, the fathers of fools will be put to shame, for their children will not do what is right. These children shall only bring shame and disgrace to their family and grief to their parents.

While fathers are mandated to discipline their children, they should do so in a loving and caring manner. They should not let their emotion overcome them. The apostle Paul warned, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). The discipline that is imposed should not push their children to the limit, or else they will rebel. However, this warning should not cause the fathers to withhold discipline altogether, for fear that their children will rebel. They should instead heed the warning in the Book of Proverbs that says, “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death” (Prov. 19:18). If the children turn out to be wicked for lack of discipline, there is no one else to be blamed but the fathers or parents themselves.

For the children, they should not only honour their fathers with their words, but also with their actions. They should give due respect to them and obey them. They should be considerate, so that they do not unduly burden their parents financially by their extravagance. For fathers to be able to buy their children expensive items, they need to work extra hours. By living a simpler life, children can relieve their fathers of pressure to produce more. It is sad to see children squander their money, as if it was not hard-earned. They are not content with what their parents provide. They want more and they want items that are expensive, just to be able to compete with their peers. Certainly, this is not how children who are full of wisdom live their lives. Children full of wisdom are loving, kind and considerate. They respect their fathers and honour them. They bring home good reports and not bad ones. They are a joy to be with and they bring honour to their parents through what they accomplish. Yes, the father of a righteous man has great joy. Hallelujah!