Why is it so important for a child to learn to submit himself and learn from his parents - especially a son from his father? First, we need to learn from this relationship because we will be dealing with authority all the days of our lives. I love the story of the son who, rebelling against his father's authority says, "I don't have to live under this kind of dictatorial authority, I'm joining the Marines!" Believe me when I say that when we don't learn under the authority that God has in our lives - the Lord is very willing to up the ante on our next authority figure. The second reason we need to learn to live under authority - especially with our fathers is because that relationship more than any other is suppose to parallel that between a man and his God.
Only a fool rejects his father's discipline. He looks at his father's rules and boundaries for his life with contempt. He spurns them and rejects them outright. He comes to despise the role his father is supposed to play in his life. Interesting to note here is the fact that this same word is used for blasphemy elsewhere in the Old Testament. Fancy that now - the same term that is used to describe the rebellion of a son to his father - is the same one used to describe the rebellion of a creation to his Creator.
The reason we need so desperately to learn how to deal with discpline and correction is because this is the way of life. Proverbs tells us elsewhere that reproofs for discpiline are the way of life. We are rebels by nature - and by choice when that nature kicks into full gear. The better we learn how to deal with disicpline and reproof - the better suited we are when the Holy Spirit comes to bring conviction of our sin so that we can respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The one who "regards" reproof is called sensible. The word for "regard" here is our old friend "shamar" which means to watch out for something - to attend to it, to be careful to keep something and watch over it. This word has the idea of diligence and watchfulness over what is said in reproof to us. We listen and regard rather than reject what is said. Oh the lessons that we could learn - and the pain and suffering that we could avoid in life if we would just listen to those who offer us reproof. It is the sensible thing to do. It is wise and prudent to listen to those who can offer us reproof and instruction on how to do things better. It is wise to listen to those who see our mistakes and who desire for us to take a fork in the road so that we don't go the wrong way. It is prudent to listen to those who've been where we have not - who've experienced shame and disgrace because of choices we are about to make. That is why we need desperately to learn how to handle loving reproof - and even outright rebuke. God knows that this is truly the way of life - and the way to avoid great sin and sorrow.
Listen to your fathers - and learn from them. This will be a lesson that will be repeated often as others who will serve as father-figures offer additional advice and counsel that can bless your life. If you learn to listen now - while a child - oh, what blessings are in store for you from that one lesson later in life.