1 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
4 Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
There are, regretfully, many fathers who fail to instruct their children. Yet the subject here is the children. It may be more difficult for the fatherless to get sound teaching, but it is not impossible. In fact, the instruction contained in this book is that of a father – and we can all benefit from it whether our own fathers were present or not.
The author of this text is the most famous son, King Solomon, of the famous King David. Yet Solomon’s own son Rehoboam rejected the advice of his elders, and the kingdom was split by his error. Whether you pay attention to wisdom and gain understanding, regardless of the source, is much more important than who your father is.
We don’t choose our fathers, but we have the dignity of choosing our paths. There are those who take the easy way, and there are those who choose their destination. What use is it to spend your life on the path of least resistance, if it can never take you where you want to go? It is difficult to observe your heart and to keep wise commandments, but it is the path to a better life. Where do the other paths lead?