Proverbs 17:6

Grandchildren are like a crown to the elderly,
and the glory of children is their parents.

We all do this, and didn’t even know that this is a principle from Proverbs. I’ll confess, I didn’t. I’m sure I’ve read and heard the verse before, but never really stopped to think much about it. Especially not beyond just reading it. Go ahead and judge me. You do it too. You just read through the words to get them read, not to learn.

Anyway, grandchildren are like a crown to the elderly, but that’s the reward more than it is the principle. The reward of living in this way is that you get the wear the crown of grandchildren when you get. (Some of you are already there…) But that’s the reward and not the principle. The principle is that, the glory of children is their parents. (The literal translation says Father, but we won’t worry about that right now…)

If you have kids, then I’m sure you’ve thought about this. I have. I think about when our kids grow up and how their kids turn out. And while I don’t have complete control over that, I have more than I think. The fact is, how I raise my kids will affect how they raise theirs. The things I do well, they will repeat. The things I don’t do well, they’ll probably repeat too.

But, this verse is talking about much more than just parenting. It’s talkin about reputation and perception of the parents. The reputation of the parents will be the way others perceive the kids. Think about it for 30 seconds and you get it. If Hitler had kids, would you judge them by his reputation? Of course you would. If you know a particular parent is lazy, you’ll assume their kids are lazy too. If the parent is disciplined, you’ll be surprised if the kid isn’t.

Who you are and how you live when you’re not at home is just as important as how you live at home. If you go out into the world and live like Hell, it will have an impact on your family and your kids. If your neighbors know how you’re living, they’re going to assume that your kids will turn out like you.

And in this case, the assumption is almost always right. Kids do end up being like their parents. So, if the parent is a hellion, the chances are the kids will end up that way. And since kids don’t have a reputation of their own yet, it is the reputation of the parents that gets put on the kids.

Our lives are like rocks dropped in a pond. The ripples we make affect the world around us. The decisions we make affect the other humans in our lives. We’re so selfish that we think all our decisions only affect ourselves. The truth is, the ripples go much further than that.

So be careful how you live. It’s not just your life you’re messing with.