He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
Here are two ways you can cause trouble and cost yourself dearly. You can abuse privileges, or neglect duties, in your family, and you will end up with nothing. Potential prosperity will disappear like wind through fingers. These and other foolish choices will take you down: you will end up serving those who are prudent and wise in their choices.
Fathers can trouble their houses in many ways. Being greedy of gain is a clear one (Pr 15:27). They work too many hours, waste money in foolish ventures, deprive their family of personal attention, are stingy with money, compromise integrity, and are carnally minded, all in their vain pursuit of wealth. Lazy and foolish men also hurt their families by depriving them of needs and opportunities through sloth and ignorance.
Fathers can also be too overbearing, harsh, critical, and domineering, which may discourage wives and children, or provoke them to wrath (Eph 6:4; Col 3:21). On the other hand, a father who avoids decisions or being a leader troubles his house. The wife and children are at sea without a captain. They lack security and direction for their lives.
While fathers are mentioned here, everyone knows overbearing wives and mothers are also an evil (Pr 12:4; 19:13; 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15-16; 30:21-23). They drive children to anger, bitterness, discouragement, frustration, and even hatred, though they whitewash their odious conduct by saying, “I was just trying to help.” They are full-time meddlers, always digging, nagging, and pressing suggestions about unimportant aspects of life.
What is the punishment for these selfish persons – foolish fathers and mothers? They lose their families. The children can hardly wait for marriage to get away. Some will run away before marriage. These children only come home under duress. They want so much to escape the vexation of living with selfish or critical parents. They want peace and quiet, with affection and happiness, where love reigns; they want to escape their cruel parents.
Such fools also lose the contest of life. Cream rises – prudent and wise men; dregs fall – foolish and impulsive men. These losers end up serving the wise in heart. They envy their success; they beg for charity; they borrow from them; they likely work for them. Wise men win in the game of life, and fools end up losing to them. Embrace wisdom today.
Troubling your family has consequences. Foolish parents, who selfishly neglect their children or odiously interfere in their lives, will lose them. They will die lonely, even if the children visit them out of obligation. Foolish choices will cost a man his standing; the prudent man will take dominion over him. These judgments are natural and appropriate.
The proverb also applies to children that do not honor their parents. They also will inherit the wind – they will lose by natural and divine judgment the benefit that could or should have been theirs. They will end up serving their siblings or others that are wise of heart. The constant lesson of Proverbs is the great benefit of righteousness and wisdom.