He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
– Proverbs 17:21
Two words are used for fool here. The first denotes a dullard or simpleton, and the second denotes wickedness. This proverb is opposite Proverbs 23:24, which acknowledges the joy of having a wise child (Proverbs 10:1; 15:20; 23:15-16). Life experience and the first nine chapters of Proverbs should convince us we cannot make our children wise. We can instruct, correct, train, discipline, exhort, and even plead like Solomon, but we cannot make a son or daughter have wisdom if they refuse instruction (Proverbs 1:7; 8:33; 13:1; 15:5). A child who refuses correction and instruction is a continual grief to father and mother (Proverbs 17:25; 19:13).