The Glory of the Children

“[The] glory of children are their fathers.” (Proverbs 17:6)

Most Christian men are aware of the familiar exhortation to bring up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4) and the warning “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Colossians 3:21). Biblical messages to fathers frequently reflect the very real societal need for family discipline and godly leadership in the home (Proverbs 22:6, 15; Genesis 18:19).

Our text is a bit different. Although the message certainly implies godly leadership, the immediate focus is on the children. Children, we are told, receive “glory” from their fathers! How is this to come about?

Glory, in the biblical sense, centers on the value, the worthiness, or the reputation of the person or event so recognized. For instance, the Scripture teaches that the Lord Jesus “shall come in the glory of his Father” (Matthew 16:27; Mark 8:38; etc.), and that the reputation of God the Father was conferred on Christ Jesus: “For he received from God the Father honour and glory” (2 Peter 1:17).

So, fathers, please learn this critical principle. Your reputation is reflected onto your children. Your behavior in the workplace is assumed to be an indicator of your children’s potential. What you say or do in moments of unguarded or uncontrolled passion will pass on to your children—for good or ill. The common saying “like father, like son” is recognized across time and culture as an accurate measure of human existence.

The Lord insists that “the iniquity of the fathers” will be passed “upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:7). Would it not be far better that your children receive glory from your righteous life than shame (Psalm 89:45) from your iniquity? HMM III

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