This is a proverb that we've seen before in a slightly different fashion. The only difference is that the word for fool here is the Hebew word "kesiyl" which is a different word than what we've seen in the past. So, with a different word as our guide, lets look at the fool who is a heartbreak to both his mother and father.
The word "kesiyl refers to one of several different types of fools mentioned in Scripture. The word study we'll do here will reveal much to us. The first way this word is used is in Ecclesiastes 4:5,13 - where we see that it refers to someone who is unable to deal with the issues of life in successful or practically godly ways. We see that his laziness and unwillingness to be corrected or taught brings about serious problems for him. In Psalm 49:10-11 the psalmist uses the word "stupid" to describe someone who refuses to learn anything. Proverbs 1:32 speaks of a young man who is complacent about his ungodly ways and sees no need to change anything in his life. Psalm 92:6 reveals that he does not understand spiritual issues and Ecclesiastes 2:14 shows us that he chooses to walk in darkness and see the problems he has.
We get the idea that this son is a young man who refuses to learn or listen to anyone other than himself. He is lazy and undisciplined - and that is most clearly seen in that he refuses to do what is necessary to be guided by a person, a book, or any kind of mentor. In the end this young man's ignorance is embraced as he thinks that nothing is wrong - and his life needs no change. As a result he walks in darkness and doesn't even know it. His spiritual ignorance is astounding - yet the young man sees no connection between his problems and his unwillingness to listen and learn from anyone.
The parents of such a child are to be pitied. The father is filled with grief. The word for this is "kaas" which means to be angry and provoked. The same word is used for God's anger toward those who paractice idolatry. For the father of this young person - his anger and vexation is due to the fact that his child worships himself and his own mind rather than God. The only person he listens too and values is himself. His mother if filled with a sense of bitterness. It is very difficult for her to process the choices and actions of such a child. The word in the Hebrew speaks of a harsh reality that is the opposite of something pleasant. Her sorrow and pain is sharp as she tries to rear a child who values nothing of what is offered to him, unless he already has thought of it himself.
This young person's attitude mirrors that of a lost person without Christ. They are filled with ideas and thoughts that only validate their own thinking. They love their sin and see no need to stop it. They are grossly ignorant and stupid - valuing only their own thinking and reasoning which is fatally flawed by the fall of man into sin. There is no hope for such a young man or woman were it not for the grace and mercy of God. Fortunately for such people God pursues us by His infinite mercy. He brings us to a knowledge of our true condition and the sheer massive gargantuan size of our stupidity. He then draws us and opens our eyes to our condition - offering grace to change us from the inside out. For the parent of such a rebellious, ignorant child - there is only one hope. That hope is to fall on one's knees and cry out to God. Pray that He will open their eyes to their stupidity and deadness of heart - and then change them by the wonderful operation of His grace! There is little else one can do outside this. Thanks be to God that He delights in changing stupid young people into wise saints by His saving grace.