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Sons & Moms

Proverbs 10:1
A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish son grief to his mother.

Proverbs 15:20
A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish man despises his mother.

Proverbs 17:25

A foolish son brings grief to his father
and bitterness to the one who bore him.

Proverbs 19:26
He who robs his father and drives out his mother
is a son who brings shame and disgrace.

I'm enjoying reading from the Narrated Bible. This section of Proverbs has been organized by topic, with today's reading including a section on parents and children. It was timely because my son woke up today in a mood. He is a sweet and tender young man by nature. But occasionally he becomes very withdrawn and shuns any kind of affection and even any interaction. This is particularly difficult for Jayme to handle. Her only "pay" is the appreciation and affection from her kids for all she does for them. I'm thinking back on my own life and evaluating my relationship with my mom who as a lifelong caregiver for her family is also only compensated with love. Is either of these women in my life being "paid" for their worth or just receiving minimum wage?

The wise man gives consideration to his family. The fool, who thinks only of himself, the consequences of his choices/actions impact his family, especially his mother. He brings grief and bitterness to her probably because she feels like she has failed in what she dedicated her life to. The fool is ungrateful. He does not acknowledge the sacrifices his mother made for him and doing so despises her. He keeps his mom at a distance and in doing so disgraces her. This behavior brings bitterness and shame upon her.

I know that many men have a severe case of being "Momma's boys" which is unhealthy. On the other side there's extreme cases of parental neglect that makes this kind of maternal relationship challenging. But for the most part, we see that one of the signs of wisdom is a healthy relationship with one's parents, especially a man with his mother. One day I'm going to tell my daughter that one of the things she should look for in any man she considers to be a potential spouse is how he treats his mother. In most cases, if there's a healthy relationship there, she'll be treated with love and respect as well.

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