He who pampers his servant from childhood will have him as a son in the end. (Proverbs 29:21)
The importance of training, teaching and disciplining, not pampering, is what is being emphasized in our text. Failure to properly lead a child, a solder or anyone under authority and to require them to carry out their responsibilities will result in grief (a Hebrew word used only here in the Old Testament). "A son in the end," may be better translated, "A grief in the end." We live in an age of extreme pampering, especially with regard to our children. We mistakenly think that every child should be rewarded, no matter what the results of their efforts. We give awards and trophies to all participants so that they will not experience loss. Every child has to get a present at a birthday party. And to fail a child for not achieving the required level of achievement is deemed cruel and severe punishment. And we wonder shy so many children grow up to be a grief in the end.