«A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother» (Proverbs 10:1).
Jacob was a man who led a very challenging life. Since childhood he had to compete with his brother, whose abilities eclipsed his. Then he had to flee from his home after deceiving his father and receiving the rights of a birthright that did not correspond to him. Later, he would have to work many years for Laban, his father-in-law, with whom he would also have strong clashes. But the greatest source of pain for this man would be his own children. From them he received complaints, conflicts, and deceit. Even Ruben, his eldest son, dared to sleep with one of his father’s wives. His children put him in constant trouble. They came to the point of murdering a whole community, after Dinah, their sister, was violated by Shechem. If that were not enough, his sons plunged a deep thorn into the heart of Jacob by selling Joseph, their brother, as a slave to a caravan of Ishmaelites, making the old man believe Joseph had been devoured by beasts. They probably never gave their father a satisfaction that he could feel proud of.
I have met a good number of parents who have received few or no happiness from their children. Throughout their lives, their offspring have only caused them headaches, problems, and anguish. There are those who have suffered deceit, lies, and false pretenses from their own children. Years go by and many elderly parents descend to the grave in the midst of the great sorrows that their children have caused them. Their offspring were not able to give them joy, a reason to feel satisfied and to tell others of the achievements of their heirs.
I believe that, for some exceptions, there are no more selfish people in this world than children. Sometimes it seems that they only have a mind to think for themselves. They forget that their parents are only concerned about their happiness and that they are joyful to see them content. They don’t even expect to be thanked. However, many children are not able to live worthwhile lives, on the contrary, they become a real headache for their parents and cause them anguish until the end of their days.
Today I invite you to stop thinking about yourself and think a little about your parents. They deserve some kind of joy on your part. Make good grades in school, tell them your personal achievements, church, thank them for their support. Do it for them. Maybe today you don’t understand, but when you have kids, you’ll start to get a better understanding.