At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
Children’s children are the crown of old men; And the glory of children are their fathers.Proverbs 17:6
The crown of old men is a good bit downstream, while the crown and glory of children is immediately upstream. The crown of old men is the future, while the glory of children is the past.
Notice also that these terms—crown and glory—have to do with honor, and the right kind of pride. There is a sort of pride that goes before destruction, and it is the kind of pride that is swathed in a haughty spirit. But there is another kind of pride or pleasure, and it is exhibited here in this proverb. We also saw the ultimate expression of this kind of thing at the baptism of Jesus, where the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
Ignorant fathers might want to say that they would take pleasure in their children and grandchildren if they would only be a bit more like Jesus. But perhaps it is because somebody else doesn’t want to be more like the Father.
This proverb is talking about family lines in a fallen world, and is talking about what it looks like when they are functioning properly. Children should think the world of their dad, and dads should live his life in such a way as to not interfere with that most natural impulse. Children want to be proud of their parents, particularly their fathers. And old men want to wear the crown of their grandchildren.
When and where this is not happening, it is because something else (something bad) has happened. That something else probably has something to do with the acids of modern life, eating away at the relationships that God has set to function in this way. Something is wrong, in other words.
The solution is to find a church community that understands the proper role and position of the family, and honors it, not as a rival, but as a constituent part of the congregation. And teaches from the Scriptures accordingly.