"Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching," Proverbs 1:8 ESV.
This quote attributed to American humorist Mark Twain represents the maturity many of us have experienced in our relationships with our parents. "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."
The first seven chapters of Proverbs are written as wisdom passed from father to son, all starting with "My son." The sayings are general rules and guidelines for living just and righteous lives. Preceding today's scripture is the instruction to first show fear of the Lord; respect for God's awesomeness (v. 7), "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." While we should acknowledge and respect our earthly parents' knowledge and experience, ultimately, it is our heavenly Father, who is the real source of wisdom.
Sometimes, like Twain, we fail to recognize and appreciate the wisdom of our Father. Because we are not receiving the answer we want when we want, we get impatient and think God either doesn't care or doesn't know what he's doing. Like the fool, we despise His wisdom and instruction. Through spiritual maturity, we recognize any knowledge we have is not ours, but the wisdom which has been given us from God.
God, we give you thanks for our earthly parents and the benefit of the knowledge and experiences they shared with us. As our heavenly Father, we recognize you are the real source of all wisdom. Forgive us for those times we act foolishly, becoming impatient, and failing to acknowledge your guidance at work in us. Today we ask for your help as we listen to the Holy Spirit, learn from Your wisdom, and act with justice and righteousness. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.