Since there are hundreds of proverbs in the book we know as Proverbs, it can be helpful to condense or distill some of them down into a more manageable list. This can also help because often the proverbs are not arranged by topic. Instead, they are scattered throughout the book. With that in mind, here are 10 key proverbs on children. We adapted this list and notes from the MacArthur Bible Commentary. May this list instruct and encourage you as you seek to raise your children in the Lord.

1. Proverbs 10:1

The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish son is a grief to his mother.

This parental grief is most deeply felt by the mother, who plays a more intimate role in raising a child.

2. Proverbs 13:1

A wise son accepts his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

3. Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he grows older he will not abandon it.

There is only one right way, God’s way, the way of life. That way is specified in great detail in Proverbs. Since it is axiomatic that early training secures lifelong habits, parents must insist on this way, teaching God’s Word and enforcing it with loving discipline consistently throughout the child’s upbringing (cf. Deuteronomy 4:9; 6:6–8; 11:18–21; Joshua 24:15; Ephesians 6:4).

4. Proverbs 22:15

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

Early childhood teaching requires both parental discipline, including corporal punishment (cf. 10:13; 19:18; 22:15; 29:15, 17), and balanced kindness and love. There is great hope that the use of the “divine ordinance” of the rod will produce godly virtue (cf. 23:13, 14) and parental joy (cf. 10:1; 15:20; 17:21; 23:15, 16; 28:7; 29:1, 17). Such discipline must have the right motivation (Heb. 12:5–11) and appropriate severity (Eph. 6:4). One who has genuine affection for his child, but withholds corporal punishment, will produce the same kind of child as a parent who hates his offspring.

5. Proverbs 23:22–25

Listen to your father, who fathered you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Buy truth, and do not sell it, get wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you.

Buy the truth. Obtain the truth at all costs (cf. 4:5–7; Matthew 13:44–46). Then, never relinquish it at any price (see Dan. 1:8ff.).

6. Proverbs 24:21, 22

My son, fear the Lord and the king; Do not get involved with those of high rank, for their disaster will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin that can come from both of them?

The king. Loyalty to the king is proper because he is the agent of the Lord’s wisdom (cf. Deut. 17:14–20; Rom. 13:1–7). That loyalty includes having no part with rebels who seek to subvert or overthrow him (“change”). Peter draws on this verse in his call to good citizenship in 1 Peter 1:17; 2:17.

The ruin those two can bring. A reference to the retributive power of the king and the Lord (cf. Job 31:23).

7. Proverbs 27:1

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Boast . . . tomorrow. Fools think they know the future or can affect its outcome, but the future rests with the sovereign God.

8. Proverbs 28:7

He who keeps the Law is a discerning son, but he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.

The son who obeyed God’s law would not be a glutton and shame his father.

9. Proverbs 29:3

A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but he who involves himself with prostitutes wastes his wealth.

10. Proverbs 29:15

The rod and a rebuke give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

Keep Reading the One-Volume MacArthur Bible Commentary

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1 Comment

  1. First I love you. Though the Holy Spirit is working in Jesus behalf to make way for Him. Jesus wants to be equals in the future. Meaning you will walk like you are the Church of temple. And disciple and judgement will no longer be in the Churches discretion as a group or entity. This isn’t a punishment it’s all God’s plan to makes us more like His son and loving like He is. God is Our Father and He has been the Highest Authority. With Jesus and God setting the tone in all Worldly and Heavenly bodies who would dare question His authority. I am who I am and being disciplined by any man is like a flea biting my shoe. When it compares to how God’s discipline which is always just. I get scared when I feel I disappointed or failed Him. You see Jesus often felt as though He might fail. Though no one would ever know it. He took those things to God. He didn’t go to the temples to receive learning not would He acknowledge their discipline. Just the use of the word discipline as opposed to correction shows me how far we have come from God in religions. Man can correct with love as the reason. And God disciplines. For any man to assume that God has handed anyone authority other than to offer forgiveness with correction is a flawed perception usually from self. When I send a message of correction it’s hardly ever for me or my views. Usually with an offer to help work it for I am no saint. And I know it comes from God when it is based on Word and my heart. This not a correction just an observation and a general statement to all churches. It’s is beyond our comprehension for the Holy Spirit takes over and as a man I am just a passenger or host per say. I will never except any man’s correction versus God’s first though I will always hear them and go to God with questions. God loves when we ask Him for Wisdom. Going to a man who for 100 years studied the Word. Would be like Jesus asking a doctor to heal that blind man. I’m not Jesus though I do my best to resemble Him and stay with God’s plans for us.

    John 16:8
    And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.

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