I often hear people talking about the Proverbs as if they were assured promises. So what is a person to do if he follows the teaching of a proverb and the outcome fails to arrive?
From the Desiring God website, "Passages like these have been taken as indicating that Christian families experience blessings and loss from God, quid pro quo. We believe that God promises a wonderful family life to those who obey his commands.
"Now, we need to be clear here. The proverbs commend certain paths to
family members because they reflect the ways God ordinarily distributes
his blessings. But ordinarily does not mean necessarily. Excellent wives
have good reason to expect honor from their husbands and children.
Fathers with integrity often enjoy seeing God’s blessings on their
children. Parents who train their children in the fear of the Lord
follow the path that frequently brings children to saving faith.
"But excellent wives, faithful husbands, and conscientious parents
often endure terrible hardship in their homes because proverbs are not
promises. They are adages that direct us toward general principles that
must be applied carefully in a fallen world where life is always
somewhat out of kilter."