Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
Do you want to make your father happy? Then obey God’s commands and get away from those who play most of the time. A father is shamed when he knows that his son usually wants to play with the boys. A father is honored when he knows that his son values God’s word and sober, diligent living above all else in life. Children, do you hear Solomon?
Wise children grow up. Paul said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (I Cor 13:11). Foolish children never grow up (Pr 10:5). They are fascinated with playing games, following sports, working out, buying cars, hanging out, racing motorcycles, chewing the fat, or otherwise wasting their lives in vain pursuits with one another.
Wise sons keep God’s law. What is the first commandment? “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deut 6:5). What commandment comes next? “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt 22:39). Fathers love to see their sons do these two things.
What is a riotous man? An undisciplined, extravagant, and wasteful man, who is given to excessive revelry, like the prodigal son (Pr 23:19-22; 29:3; Luke 15:13). What is revelry? Having a wild good time (Gal 5:21; I Pet 4:3)! Paul ordered saints to avoid rioting (Rom 13:13), which was a rebuke for too much fun, too much partying. What goes with reveling? Drunkenness, gluttony, banqueting, and surfeiting (Pr 23:20; Luke 21:34)!
Solomon warned against keeping company with such men. Evil communications corrupt good manners, and wise sons will not choose friends from such men (I Cor 15:33). A son that hangs around with jocks, car lovers, gluttons, party animals, cool dudes, or foolish young men is a shame to his father. His father does not understand the attraction. It is a sin against these proverbs to associate with such fools (Pr 4:14-17; 9:6; 13:20; 14:7).
America in the 21st century is addicted to pleasure and recreation. It is a nation of riotous men. Contemporary Christians fulfill the sober warning of men being lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (II Tim 3:4). The church basketball and softball teams get more attention and passion than the preaching of God’s word. These are riotous Christians!
Young man! Where is your heart? Is it meditating in God’s law day and night (Ps 1:1-3)? Do you hate vain thoughts but love His law (Ps 119:113)? Do you use extra time for God’s word or recreation? Your father can see where your heart is by the location of your treasure – where you make your investments of energy, time, and money (Matt 6:21).
Young man! Does God’s law rule your thoughts and activities about women? About beer? About food? About time? About speech? About sleep? About friends? About diligent labor in your job? About giving your money to God? About saving your money? About music? About clothes? About your wife? About your parents? About any children?
Parent! Train your son while there is hope (Pr 19:18). Train him now, and he will live wisely when older (Pr 22:6). It is a child left to himself that brings parents to shame (Pr 29:15). Correct him, and he will bring you rest and delight (Pr 29:17). Teach him the fear of the Lord and bring him up in the Lord’s nurture and admonition (Ps 34:11; Eph 6:4).
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