The home is one of the themes Solomon focuses on in this set of proverbs. He reminds us that peace in a home is far better than an abundance of food or money. Home should be our little heaven on earth, but for many, home is the last place they want to spend quality time. One mean, negative, or hurtful family member can completely destroy the family unit with words that tear down, split up, and downright hurt. Solomon gives us the example of “a foolish son who brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him.” That, of course, applies to children of all genders and reminds us that God has called parents to lead their homes with loving encouragement and loving discipline. He also reveals an important principle for our homes, “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” We can encourage and discipline in a manner that will create a cheerful heart. It might not happen immediately, but it will happen if we stay the course and not give ground. Solomon’s final piece of the puzzle comes through our children’s children (our grandchildren) who will be a crown to the aged and parents will be the pride of their children. That sounds like little that we see today in families. We see bitterness and feuding or complete separation and silence. Is this what God really intends for a family to be like? He wants our families to set the example, the bar, for other families to strive for. We must seek peace in our homes but not at the expense of overlooking sin or destructive behavior, and we must lovingly encourage and lovingly discipline our children consistently while they are still in our homes.

Help me, Lord, to enjoy that peaceful home that is far more valuable than wealth or a feast. Help me to enjoy the fruit of all that hard work through the gift of grandchildren and to live in such a way that my children are proud (and not ashamed) of me.