He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.
Child! The great God will make you pay for the pain and shame your folly has cost your parents. Your ungrateful treatment of them will come down on your own pate. Get ready for it. Your return of evil for their kindness and love has the God of parents sending His hungry ravens and young eagles in your direction (Pr 20:20; 30:17). They see you now!
Child! Your parents gave you life. They fed, clothed, and protected you. Your father delighted in you and saved for your future; your mother doted on you and pampered you. And now you despise them by word and deed. You waste their time and assets. You have no time for the woman who loves you most. Your wickedness has come up to heaven!
This proverb is only an observation, unless you find its hidden lesson. Proverbs are dark sayings, not sound bites (Pr 1:6). If we weigh the pain this wicked child caused his parents, we should see the fire of divine justice burning against him. If God’s words, “Be sure your sin will find you out,” are true in general, they are certainly true in this case!
A son wastes his father by spending his money in riotous living (Pr 28:7,24; 29:3; Luke 15:13). He also wastes his spirit, burdens his heart, harms his health, and sends him to the grave with sorrow (Gen 44:29). This grief is a calamity to a father (Pr 17:21,25; 19:13). What should have been for his glory and success becomes the source of his latter pain.
He chases away his mother by ignoring her warnings, fighting in her home, chasing whores, living a life she cannot abide, and alienating her affection (Pr 10:1; 17:25). In the end, when he has spent all, or whether he has much, he denies her desires and needs. How can a mother’s tenderness be repaid by such cold and crushing cruelty?
Such a son brings shame and reproach on his father, his mother, his siblings, the family name, and upon himself. But he is so in love with himself that he does not care. He tramples all under foot without regard for the feelings of his own flesh and blood or the opinions of God and men. These rebels deserve all that God shall bring upon them.
Child! Tremble before this proverb and its words. God is not mocked! Whatever you sow, you shall reap (Gal 6:7). If God ordained death for disrespectful speech or looks (Pr 20:20; 30:17; Deut 27:16), how great is His fury for these actions? If He required capital punishment for cursing or hitting, what will He do to this brute (Ex 21:15)? If honoring parents brings long life, what will the base violence of this wretch deserve (Eph 6:2-3)?
Child! Mistreating those who have loved and cared for you the most is an aggravated and perverse sin and exceedingly wicked in God’s sight. Your pride and selfishness are so great that you are without natural affection (Rom 1:30-31). You have altogether denied the Christian religion, and you are worse than an infidel (I Tim 5:8).
Child! Humble yourself now. Repent for your rebellion and self-will. Beg God and your parents for mercy. It is never too late, if you can still feel even a little conviction in your conscience about your folly. Break off your sins by righteousness and show some mercy to your parents, for it may be a lengthening of your tranquility (Dan 4:27).
Parent of a fool! Take comfort. There are no perfect parents, and the great God never justifies a child’s wickedness by parental faults or failures. He is the God of parents, and as a heavenly Father, He will remember every bit of your investment and pain for comfort here and hereafter. Beg Him for wisdom in light of your troubles (Jas 1:2-5).
Reader, how well do you honor your heavenly Father? Have you wasted any of the precious grace He has bestowed on you (II Cor 6:1; Heb 12:15)? Have you brought any shame or reproach on His glorious name (Ezek 20:39; I Tim 6:1)? Are you living like a child of God, bringing delight to your Father (Matt 5:43-48; II Cor 6:14-18; Eph 5:1)?