A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
Wisdom must be learned. We are not born with it; it comes through training and experience. Wisdom is a positive cycle. If we have learned enough wisdom to recognize that it is smart to listen to and act on our parents’ teaching and discipline, we will gain even more wisdom.
But foolishness is a vicious cycle. It may start as not listening to instruction, but it leads to not even paying attention to strong rebuke.
A scoffer is “the worst kind of fool (see Ps. 1:1). Some fools are naïve and inexperienced, but open to suggestions; sometimes even those established in folly may rethink their position. But scoffers laugh at righteousness. Such people are impervious to rebuke” (The Nelson Study Bible, note on Proverbs 13:1).
The wise child gains benefits from being wise but also gives blessings to his or her parents. As Proverbs 10:1 says, “A wise son makes a glad father.”
For more about parent-child relationships, see our section on “Parenting.”