Ours is a soceity where fathers are abandoning their biblical position. The result is a soceity where things are unfortunately falling apart at an alarming rate. What is even more alarming is how badly the biblical portrait of fatherhood is under attack by the entertainment, educational, and political elite of our day. There are many who think a man's usefulness is at its maximum shortly after the conception of a child. The Bible knows no such view.
This proverb is actually addressed to sons who desire to be wise. The wise son is the one who listens to his father's disciplinary words and ideas. The word for discipline here is "musar" and it means to discipline throuh instruction. It is when a father speaks with his son in correction of his attitudes and actions. This is something that is desperately needed for a child. Foolishness is bound up within his heart - and something and someone must address the wrong thinking that the child has - and will destroy the child if left alone.
The father is to offer these words of rebuke and correction. That means that the view that we are naturally good is false. We are not naturally good. The Bible teaches that we are fallen and are given over to a worldly wisdom that is very destructive. Thus we need a godly father to speak the truth to us and to encourage us toward the ways of God.
The son who does not listen to this helpful rebuke, is called a "scoffer." This is an interesting Word. It means to scorn, deride, and mock another. Here it speaks of how the son does not honor the father or his instruction. He won't listen to rebuke or correction. He mocks it instead - thinking that the things his father says to him will not happen - nor will his own actions bring any kind of difficulty. Yet, the truth is that when a godly father's instruction is ingored and mocked - the son is in for a bumpy road filled with grief and problems.
A father's instruction is invaluable to a son or daughter. Do not ignore it - or mock it. It is god's way of offering to the next generation the wisdom it needs to prosper and be blessed. Keep it and the blessing with be yours - ignore it only at your own peril.