A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
The way to break the spirit of a man is through his family. It may be through the folly of a child or through the grumbling of a wife. There is much to be said in Proverbs and Scripture to admonish the husband and father, but this proverb is directed to the impact of poor behavior on the man.
The foolish son is ruin to his father in two ways. One, his folly often leads to financial repercussions, as well as impacting the father's reputation in the community. Thus a son can literally bring his father to ruin. But then there is the inner ruin of spirit. The son's folly drives grief into the father's spirit. Whatever else may be fulfilling in the father's life, the grief over his son stays with him.
Regarding the wife, however much she may have cause to quarrel about her husband's behavior and attitude, the effect of the quarrel is to drain him of desire to change. Like the incessant dripping of rain, the quarrels steadily wear him down.
We all have more power than we realize. Though the father and husband supposedly have the power to exercise authority, nevertheless, they can be brought down through those who are closest to them. So we may impact anyone through our folly and grumbling. We can bring down the best of leaders and destroy the morale of the best teachers. We can ruin those who love us, who is some way care for us. We can ruin them by breaking their spirits.
Today, will you lift up the spirits of those you love and those around you, or will you pull them down?