Proverbs 23:24 (NLT)
24 The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise.

It is the duty of children to study how they may gladden the hearts of their good parents, and do it yet more and more, so that they may greatly rejoice in them. [Matthew Henry]



The film Gladiator tells the story of Maximus (Russell Crowe), general of the Roman army in 180 A.D. Following victory in a decisive battle, the dying emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) expresses his desire to appoint Maximus as his successor. Marcus Aurelius's own son Commodus is the amoral opposite of Maximus. When Commodus learns that he will not be the next emperor, he recoils from his father. Immediately the son brings up the painful memories of his childhood, which were the foundation for his unprincipled life.

"You wrote to me once, listing the four chief virtues: wisdom, justice, fortitude, and temperance. As I read the list, I knew I had none of them. But I have other virtues: ambition that can be a virtue when it drives us to excel; resourcefulness; courage perhaps not on the battlefield, but there are many forms of courage; devotion to my family, to you. But none of my virtues were on your list. Even then it was as if you did not want me for your son."

"Commodus, you go too far," replies the emperor.

Commodus continues, "I searched the faces of the gods for ways to please you, to make you proud. One kind word, one full hug where you pressed me to your chest and held me tight would have been like the sun in my heart for a thousand years. What is this in me that you hate so much? All I've ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar, Father."

"Commodus, your faults as a son is my failure as a father."

[Gladiator (DreamWorks, 2000), written by David Franzoni, directed by Ridely Scott; submitted by Rod Reed, Fresno, California]


A loving parent will often realize the faults in their children were brought about through their own behaviors and failures. I know that opinions which are often strongly expressed are adopted by the children. Children generally love others as their parents love them. Being a parent is a great responsibility; but how pleased we can be when our children are cause for great joy and pleasure.