Proverbs 19:13

ESV A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
NIV A foolish child is a father's ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof.
NASB A foolish son is destruction to his father, And the quarrels of a wife are a constant dripping.
CSB A foolish son is his father's ruin, and a wife's nagging is an endless dripping.
NLT A foolish child is a calamity to a father; a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.
KJV A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

What does Proverbs 19:13 mean?

Some principles in Scripture are phrased in male terms but apply to all of mankind. Many parents have experienced the brutal pain of watching their children pursue foolish, ungodly paths (Proverbs 4:1–4; 10:1; 17:2). When the child's choices are especially wrong, it can "ruin" the parents. That is usually true emotionally, but a child's actions might bring social shame and financial hardship on their parents, as well. Later in this chapter, Solomon will speak about the overtly abusive child who directly harms his own family (Proverbs 19:26). A foolish person has no regard for God (Proverbs 3:11; 10:17). He rebels against the spiritual training given by godly parents (Proverbs 15:5).

Solomon also observes that a disagreeable spouse can be a source of constant misery (Proverbs 21:9). The Hebrew word used here is a reference to arguments, stress, and bickering. The imagery of rain here implies something like a leak in a roof, rather than rain in general (Proverbs 27:15). Spouses don't have to be overtly abusive to bring misery into a marriage. A constant "drip" of negativity, arguing, unhappiness, criticism, or other irritations can become toxic. The picture painted here is the opposite of how the apostle Peter presents the ideal of marriage: dwelling together as partners in the grace of life (1 Peter 3:6–7).
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