Proverbs 13:1

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

I’ve heard that teenagers think they know it all. I’ve had the pleasure of working with teenagers in my time as a worship leader. There are those that you are a joy to be around and those you dread being around. Some of them have already gotten the whole respect thing and are well on their way to being solid human beings. Others just don’t get it. They are far more interested in attention than accountability. Their attitude and disrespect for authority drive adults around them nuts. I’m sure I wasn’t that way when I was a teenager. I’m sure. One thing is for certain though, the older I get the less I know. I don’t know about you, but every day it seems to be revealed to me just how little I know and how much there is to learn.

I don’t think teenagers care that much about learning. Sure there are some, but they are the exceptions more than the rule. It seems to me, most teenagers are interested in things that produce instant gratification. This is one thing that makes this proverb a little bit astounding. The teenagers we know, the sons and daughters we have experienced, are the ones who don’t care that much for learning. And yet, this proverb speaks of a son accepting his father’s discipline.

His father’s discipline is pretty much the opposite of instant gratification. Especially in the eyes of the son. One thing I find interesting about this passage is the implication that the son has a choice to reject his father’s discipline. I suppose if the son is older, he could choose to leave the house and go off on his own. But the wise son doesn’t run off, he accepts it.

The scoffer referred to in this proverb is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to fools. He is the one that doesn’t care about his father, or anyone’s father. He doesn’t care about authority, doesn’t worship God, and thinks he knows everything. Because he thinks he knows everything, you can’t teach him anything. I can honestly say that I’ve met a couple of scoffers in my life.

I know I’ve said it before, but those who act like and think they know everything drive me crazy. It’s okay to admit you don’t know something. It’s okay if someone else knows something you don’t know. Don’t get worried. Don’t be threatened. Be glad they knew it so you didn’t have to go and do the research for it.

The point in all this is, if you are a teenager – you need to be happy to receive the discipline your father gives you. It may seem unfair at the time, but your father knows more than you. Your father has something to teach you. So you need to be teachable. Your father is in authority over you and understands authority – you need to as well. Don’t be the worst kind of fool, be a wise son.